Man Charged in Backpage.com Murders
(DETROIT, Mich.) -- A man has been charged in connection to the murders of four women who were found in the trunks of burning cars last December in Detroit.
James Brown, 24, of Sterling Heights, Mich., will be charged with Dead Bodies-Disinterment in connection with two of the murders, and with the arson of a dead body in connection with the other two murders. As of now, Brown is not being charged with murder.
Brown is being held on a $500,000 cash bond for each of the two cases, according to the Detroit Free Press. He is scheduled to appear in court again on May 17.
“We just want justice. We want closure. We have waited 4 months,” said Chikita Madison, mother of one of the victims, according to ABC News affiliate WXYZ.
Three of the victims had offered escort services on backpage.com, a nationwide site similar to Craigslist, according to police.
On Dec. 19, two women – one 23 and one 24 — were found dead in the trunk of a 2009 Chrysler 300 that was parked in the driveway of a vacant dwelling, police said. There were no outer signs of trauma to the bodies. The victims were identified as Demesha Hunt, 24, and Renisha Landers, 23, who were cousins.
Their mothers insisted the cousins weren’t escorts, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“These were good girls. They were not on the streets. They had homes,” said Landers’ mother Chikita Madison in December.
“That was nothing that they were into,” Hunt’s mother, Denise Reid told the Detroit Free Press. “It’s nothing that I would even say, ‘Oh, yeah. Maybe.’ It’s absolutely not.”
Two other women, 28 and 29 years old, were found four blocks away in a 1997 Buick LaSabre on Christmas morning around 1 a.m. The Detroit Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire, and after extinguishing the fire, found the bodies in the trunk, badly burned.
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