A Virginia medical examiner who performed autopsies on two women suspected of being murdered by a suspected serial killer could not determine the exact cause of their deaths, officials confirmed to News4.
Allene Elizabeth Redmon, 54, and Tonita Lorice Smith, 39, were found in an open area in Harrisonburg in November 2021, police said. Police believe the women were killed at different times and said a shopping cart was found nearby.
The Western District of Virginia Chief Medical Examiner’s Office ruled their cause of death to be “undetermined lethal violence,” officials said in a statement to News4 on Thursday.
Alleged ‘basket killer’ Anthony Eugene Robinson is believed to have killed at least four women. Redmon and Smith were the first victims discovered by authorities.
Robinson’s next hearing in Rockingham County Court on the Harrisonburg charges has been adjourned to September 12 in light of the medical examiner’s findings, officials said.
A Northern Virginia medical examiner is still working to determine the cause of death of Stephanie Harrison, 48, of Redding, Calif., and Cheyenne Brown, 29, of southeast DC, who were found near a small hotel in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County in December.
Robinson was not charged in their deaths.
According to an investigation by Fairfax, DC and Harrisonburg County police, Robinson met women online, went to motels with them, killed them and then transported their remains in shopping carts. Fairfax County police dubbed him the “Caddy Killer”.
Authorities are also investigating a fifth death.
Robinson has not been charged or officially named a suspect in the death of Sonya Champ, 40, who was found dead in a shopping cart near Union Station in September 2021.
Fairfax County police said in December they were investigating Robinson’s connection to Champ’s death. The DC Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Mined Champ’s cause of death in January.
Fairfax County police have identified two other victims of a suspected serial killer. News4’s Shomari Stone reports that detectives say the suspect met women on dating apps, killed them and then transported their bodies in shopping carts.
A relative described Champ as an outgoing woman who loved her family.
O’Carroll said digital evidence linked Robinson to Champ’s disappearance.
Brown was the mother of a 7-year-old boy and was pregnant, her family said in an interview with News4 in December, desperate for answers about her disappearance.
Brown’s mother wanted everyone to know that “Cheyenne had a huge heart, and she trusted and considered everyone her friend,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said.
A family member of Brown said he believed he saw Robinson at her home days before she disappeared. Robinson is the last person seen with Brown, police said. The pair communicated through the dating app Plenty of Fish, police said.
“None of these families, my family, none of these families deserve to go through this,” Brown’s mother, Nicandra Brown, said. “Not only, you know, my daughter is gone, but he took the life of my unborn grandchild.”
Harrison’s sister, Joei Harrison, says Stephanie flew from California to DC for sightseeing. She checked into the Moon Inn in Fairfax County in August and then disappeared.
Joei said Robinson and Stephanie were staying in separate rooms at the hotel. She said they didn’t know each other.
“When I think of my sister, I think of the life she lived,” Joei Harrison said. “She was beautiful, vibrant.”
Robinson is known to have lived in DC, Prince George’s County, Maryland and New York, Fairfax County Police said.
Fairfax County Police met with 35 other law enforcement agencies to review missing persons cases and see if there are any potential links, police said.
Robinson is being held at the Rockingham County Adult Detention Center, police said.
Fairfax County Police said Anthony Robinson, 35, was the man they dubbed “the basket killer”. Police arrested him last month and investigators believe he is linked to four deaths in Virginia – including, possibly, 48-year-old Stephanie Harrison. News4’s Shomari Stone reports.
Fairfax County Police are looking for anyone with information about the case or Robinson. He was known to have stayed at the Moon Inn several times and used dating apps such as Plenty of Fish and Tagged.
“What we really need is information about previous contacts,” O’Carroll said. Anyone who may have come into contact with Robinson is asked to contact Fairfax County Police. Rewards from $100 to $1,000 are available.
Shopping Cart Killer Investigation Timeline
The bodies of Redmon and Smith were found a short distance apart in a lot in a commercial district of Harrisonburg on Nov. 23, police said. Police believe the women were killed at different times. A shopping cart was found nearby.
Robinson was arrested after cellphone recordings and video evidence linked him to the women.
A few days later, on November 30, DC police contacted Harrisonburg police and told them about Brown, who was missing. Cellphone data and surveillance footage will later show Brown and Robinson were together the night the woman was last seen, police said.
A coordinated effort between the Harrisonburg and DC police departments has begun.
A week later, on Dec. 7, DC police called Fairfax County police and asked for help in locating Brown, Fairfax County police said. Digital data showed Brown and Robinson had been together on Route 1, “possibly at the Moon Inn” on the night of her disappearance.
Detectives and a dead dog searched the area, but were unsuccessful. Members of the police department traveled to Harrisonburg to meet with police and gather information.
On December 15, police received new information and returned to Route 1 to expand their search. Homicide detectives saw a shopping cart and container in the wooded area not far from the Moon Inn.
Authorities have identified two sets of human remains.