Residents of East Detroit have been the a grip of fear after multiple sexual assaults and murders went unsolved from the spring of 2018 – 2019.
Over the span of a year the bodies of several women, all female and in their fifties, were found in abandoned houses around Detroit. The victims were found either nude or in a state of undress and had all been sexually assaulted. They had been positioned face down and each had a used condom left next to them. The slain women were discovered in shocking conditions, the crime scenes were bloody and it would later be revealed that at least two of them had died from blunt force trauma to the head.
Because of this specific M.O police quickly concluded that they were likely dealing with a serial killer and alerted local residents to be vigilant. They would go on to search hundreds of vacant buildings in and around the area that the victims were discovered in and while the investigation continued, social media buzzed with chatter of an unidentified killer who was still out on the streets with the potential to strike again.
Investigators working the case concluded that the bodies had not been transported to the various empty buildings after death, rather that the victims had been coaxed or forced inside and murdered.
The women were local sex workers and officers theorized that they had been lured into the buildings by their killer, who was likely posing as a client. There is an abundance of derelict homes in the area, which the suspected serial killer used to his advantage.
The remains of Annetta Nelson, 57, were found in a derelict building in 2018. She had died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
The following year the body of 52 year old Nancy Harrison was found on March 19th 2019 in a building near Coventry Street. The cause of death was also determined to be blunt force trauma to the head.
On May 7th a woman in her mid-twenties told police that she had been sexually assaulted by a black male in his mid-thirties after he offered her food and shelter at his mother's house. She described going with the man to what he claimed to be his mother’s basement and rejecting his sexual advances earlier that night while she was trying to sleep. Several hours later in the early morning she awoke to a knife being plunged into her neck and the perpetrator on top of her. She told officers that she removed the knife, which the man eventually dropped when the ordeal was over. As a survivor of the man’s attack, the victim was eventually able to help police link the individual to his previous crimes. Martin was arrested for the rape and eventually linked to the murders.
The remains of Trevesene Ellis, 55, were found on March 24th in a building on Linnhurst Street. The body of 55 year old Tamara Michelle Jones was found June 5th on Mack Avenue. The decedents were so heavily decomposed that a cause of death could not be determined.
The perpetrator was later identified as 34 year old Kenneth Deangelo Martin. Investigators believe that the alleged homeless serial killer began his killing spree in the spring of 2018 and continued kidnapping, sexually assaulting and murdering women around East Detroit until March 2019. They have revealed that the 34 year old has a long list of sexual assaults and attempted murders on his criminal record.
Reports state that a 51 year old victim also escaped Deangelo Martin by stabbing him with a box cutter and jumping from the nearest window. The victim told police that she was dragged off the street while walking along Gariot Avenue and was forceed into a nearby abandoned house. The next thing she remembered was waking up to a sexual assault. She had been choked unconscious and woke to Deangelo on top of her. In a last ditch attempt to survive she managed to push off her attacker, retrieve a box cutter that she carried for her own protection, and thrust it into him before jumping out of the window and running for her life. DNA on her clothes linked Deangelo Martin to both the victim and the scene of the crime and he was charged with kidnapping, assaulting and strangling the woman.
Already facing 4 counts of criminal sexual conduct, intent to murder and a sexual assault, Deangelo Martin has been charged with several counts of first degree murder and police believe that he may have more victims and charges to come. He was the last person to be seen with a woman named Deborah Reynolds who later went missing on August 3rd last year. The pair had an interaction with the Ferndale Police that day and the woman has not been seen since.
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