A family in North Texas fears Billy Chemirmir, a Kenyan suspected to be a serial murderer, killed their mother.
According to a report by The Dallas Morning News published five days ago, the family of Diane Delahunty, 79, suspects Chemirmir killed her before stealing her jewelry.
Chemirmir hails from Kabonyony village in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County.
He is being held at the Dallas County Jail on suspicion he killed several older women by smothering them before stealing their jewelry and other valuables.
Delahunty is said to have died on December 3, 2017, at Preston Place Senior Living Apartments in Plano. At the time of her death, though three rings were missing from her fingers, the police told her family she had died of natural causes.
In July, however, a medical examiner changed her cause of death to “undetermined”. Later, her daughter Lori Delahunty said the police told her Chemirmir killed her mother.
Lori, according to The Dallas Morning News, tried looking for the three rings — an engagement ring, a wedding ring and a 50th anniversary gold band — and filed an insurance claim after she could not find them.
Lori is quoted by The Dallas Morning News as saying: “I don’t see a point in killing somebody for three pieces of jewelry,” she said. “She missed out on so much.”
Lori, as per the report, said she found her mother’s body lying on the floor of her one-bedroom apartment two years ago. Diane Delahunty was wearing the same clothes she wore to lunch with her daughter two days earlier.
According to The Dallas Morning News, Lori says her mother had a large knot on her head but she was not suspicious at the time. The police told her the death appeared to be from natural causes — a heart attack or stroke. Maybe she hit her head before falling, Lori Delahunty thought.
Several months later, she heard from other residents at Preston Place that police were looking into deaths and thefts there. She also learned a woman had survived an attack by a man who had tried to smother her and stole jewelry.
Lori Delahunty called Plano police in March 2018, and they told her her mother was “on the list.”
“On the list? That sounded ominous,” Lori Delahunty said. “It’s so surreal.”
That’s when she learned about Chemirmir and the long list of people he has been accused of killing between May 2016 and March 2018.
The suspect, who maintains his innocence, is being held with bail set at $16.2 million (Sh1,640,220,840). A jail hold was placed on him by immigration authorities.
He was arrested in March 2018 after a woman at Preston Place survived an attack. The woman allegedly described her attacker to the police, who identified Chemirmir and waited for him at his Far North Dallas apartment the next day.
The police said they saw Chemirmir throw a jewelry box into a dumpster before they arrested him.
The jewelry box led the police to the home of Harris, 81, where lipstick was found on a pillow near her body.
After he was arrested, the police across North Texas began looking into reported deaths to check for more potential victims.
Chemirmir was charged with murder in Harris’ death and the attempted murder of the two other women.
The Dallas District Attorney’s office, in July 2019, filed paperwork seeking the death penalty in the case of Lu Thi Harris.
Chemirmir was accused of smothering at least 12 elderly women in North Texas senior living complexes.
He faces 12 counts of murder in Dallas and Collin counties, and two counts of attempted murder.
He allegedly paused as a maintenance worker to gain access into the apartments of elderly women. Reports indicate he smothered his victims with a pillow before stealing their jewelry which he later sold.
A friend to Chemirmir’, who spoke on condition of anonymity, paints a picture of an innocent man who always went about his own business and had no issues with anyone.
The man said Chemirmir was not an attention seeker and would conduct his affairs in secret.
Chemirmir allegedly never committed any crime. Claims against him only emerged after he left for US in the 1990s.
He moved to the US after his elder sister secured him two other siblings visas.
The source said Chemirmir, in the eyes of those who know him, is a down to earth man. “That is why what we hear is shocking.”
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