Police Chief Peter Newsham left open the possibility a serial killer was responsible

By Chris Harris
August 16, 2018 12:19 PM
Credit: Metropolitan Police Department

Three Washington, D.C. women who went missing in 2006 have been identified as the victims whose skeletal remains were recovered four months ago from an apartment building’s crawl space.

PEOPLE learns that detectives continue to handle the investigation as a homicide case. At this time, they have no suspects and few leads to go on.

The Washington Post reports that at a Wednesday news conference, police Chief Peter Newsham left open the possibility a serial killer was responsible, saying, “We would always consider that to be a potential in this case.”

The victims — Jewel King, Verdell Jefferson and Dorothy Butts — all vanished back in 2006, according to a statement from the Metropolitan Police.

From left: Jewel King, Dorothy Butts and Verdell Jefferson
| Credit: Metropolitan Police Department

A plumber doing repairs at an apartment building in the southeast section of the city found the decomposed remains tucked into a crawl space, the statement explains.

King, 48, was reported missing on April 13, 2006. Less than four months later, Jefferson, 41, disappeared.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Butts was reported missing by relatives after the 43-year-old woman failed to show up for Christmas festivities.

Two of the women were shot to death. The third suffered life-ending fractures.

Police ask that anyone with any information pertinent to this case call (202) 727-9099. One may also send anonymous information to the department via text by messaging 50411.