Possible serial killer may be targeting sex workers in Detroit, person of interest sought: Police

WXYZ-TV(DETROIT) --  Detroit police are looking for a person of interest as they investigate a potential serial killer who may be singling out sex workers.

Three victims, all believed to be sex workers, have been found dead at vacant east side homes in recent months, said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

Police are looking for person of interest Kenneth Martin, 34, who is known to be homeless, Craig announced Friday.

"We're hoping that the public will help us identify this person of interest so we can have contact with him," he said.

The crimes date back to March 19, when a partially-clad woman was found dead in a vacant home on Detroit's east side, the chief said. She died from blunt force trauma, he said.

On May 24, another partially-clad dead woman was found at a vacant dwelling on the east side, according to Craig.

The third crime was discovered Wednesday, Craig said, when a sex worker going into a vacant dwelling on the east side found a dead woman and notified police.

"It is certainly a strong possibility that one individual was responsible for all three," Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said at a news conference on Friday. "Rather than wait until the chief knew for sure, he felt it was important to warn this community about the possibility of someone killing women in this manner."

One victim was 52-years-old and one was 53-years-old; the third victim was roughly 55, Craig said, noting that it appears the suspect may be targeting women in their 50s.

Detroit's mayor is vowing to board up the city's vacant homes because potential serial killer may be using the empty dwellings to target victims.

It's possible another victim could be in one of the many vacant houses on the east side, Duggan said.

Officers will be deployed -- beginning Friday -- to go into every open and abandoned house on the east side over the next few weeks to make sure there are no more victims, the mayor said. The houses will then be boarded up.

Police have 2,000 vacant houses in the city to reach -- 1,000 on the east side and 1,000 on the west side, the mayor said.

The board-up teams will work six days a week, and Duggan said his goal is to have every east side vacant home boarded up by the end of July. He hopes the plan to be completed citywide by the end of September.

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