Dec 11, 2020

Healthcare worker accused of 3 more care home murders as investigation into 1,000 deaths continues

Billy Chemirmir, a 48-year-old ex-healthcare worker and suspected serial killer, has been accused of another three murders, bringing his total number of indictments to 17. Investigators are continuing to look into the deaths of up to 1,000 older people who died in aged care facilities between 2016 and 2018. 

Originally charged with the capital murder of an 81-year-old woman in March 2018, the 48-year-old from Texas is accused of murdering multiple older women by smothering them with a pillow, before robbing them of their possessions. 

According to People Magazine, Chemirmir would allegedly dress as a maintenance man or healthcare worker to gain access to the women’s properties before killing and robbing them. According to reports, many of the deaths went largely uninvestigated and assumed to be of natural causes due to the victims’ ages. 

“Chemirmir used his healthcare experience to his advantage, targeting and exploiting seniors, some of the most vulnerable people in our community,” then-Plano police chief Gregory W Rushin said in a March 2018 press conference. 

“This is terribly disturbing.” 

Chemirmir was arrested in March of 2018 following the attempted murder of a then 91-year-old. Forcing his way into her home dressed as a maintenance man, he attempted to smother her until she lost consciousness, before allegedly stealing items of jewellery. When the woman regained consciousness, she reported the incident to police, who were able to track Chemirmir to his apartment block, and allegedly observed him discarding a jewellery box which belonged to an 81-year-old woman, who was then found dead from smothering in her bed.

Since his arrest in 2018, investigators have reopened cases of around 1,000 older people in the Dallas and Collins counties who died unattended during the time he was working in the area. So far, 24 deaths have been linked to Chemirmir, with 17 indictments handed down as of Tuesday, December 8. 

“It will be a monumental task,” Dallas Police Department Executive Assistant Chief of Police David Pughes said at a press conference in March 2018. 

“But we’re up for the challenge and we’re gonna make sure we check each and every case.”

The three charges handed down on Tuesday were all for older women who were living at The Tradition-Prestonwood, a luxury retirement home in Dallas, at the time of their murders. 

According to the New York Post, Chemirmir, who is a Kenyan citizen who was living in America illegally, is being held in jail on an $11.6 million USD bail. 

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