Billy Chemirmir has been charged with 12 counts of murder, while the investigation continues

By Steve Helling
May 16, 2019 02:05 PM
Dallas County Sheriffs Office

Police believe that a 47-year-old Dallas man is a serial killer who has smothered at least twelve elderly women.

Billy Chemirmir was arrested last year and charged with murder in the death of an 81-year-old woman. Police were surveilling Chemirmir when they allegedly saw him toss a jewelry box into the trash outside his apartment complex. The box belonged to Lu Thi Harris, who was later found dead inside her apartment. She had been smothered with a pillow.

At the time, officials said that there might be similar cases in the area.

During a press conference in March 2018, Plano police said they would reinvestigate more than 750 unattended senior deaths dating back to at least 2010. Authorities exhumed at least one body of a suspected victim, WFAA reported.

Police now allege Chemirmir is responsible for at least a dozen deaths, and they also accuse him of attempting to kill two other women — but they’re still searching for additional potential victims.

In addition to Harris’ death, Chemirmir has been indicted in the deaths of six elderly women in Dallas County, and 5 others in nearby Collin County.

According to court documents first obtained by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Chemirmir would pose as a caregiver before killing and robbing the women. WFAA reports that scrubs were found in Chemirmir’s possession.

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Although police documents claim that Chemirmir would sometimes pose as a nurse, the Star-Telegram reports that Chemirmir isn’t a licensed nurse anywhere in the United States. ABC News reports he has worked as a home health care aide.

“Chemirmir uses health care experience to his advantage targeting and exploiting seniors, some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” Plano Police Chief Gregory W. Rushin told reporters in 2018. “This is terribly disturbing.”

Chemirmir, a citizen of Kenya, has lived in the Dallas area for more than a decade. PEOPLE confirms that immigration authorities have placed a jail hold on him.

The news has left many family members of the deceased reeling. Ellen House, the daughter of alleged victim Norma French, described Chemirmir to the Star-Telegram as “a very bad, very evil man.”

Chemirmir’s bond has been set at $9.1 million.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him in Harris’ death, and his case hasn’t yet gone to trial.

He has not entered a plea in the new cases. His public defender did not immediately return PEOPLE’s call for comment.

Anyone with information is urged to call 972-941-5785.