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Wednesday, April 12, 2000

Former USS Nimitz
fueler linked to
global killings

One of the murders under
investigation was in Hawaii

Associated Press


DETROIT -- A former USS Nimitz fueler arrested in the slayings of three prostitutes could be linked to killings in Hawaii, two other states and six foreign countries, police Chief Benny Napoleon said today.

"He's a serial killer. He's a sick person," the chief said of the 26-year-old man who was arrested early today. "We have the killer. There's no doubt."

He also is suspected of strangling prostitutes in Norfolk, Va., Washington state and Thailand, the chief said.

"He has traveled extensively," Napoleon said. "This is a dangerous individual."

Investigators are looking at possible links with the strangulations of prostitutes in Hawaii, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Israel -- all ports of call for the Nimitz, Napoleon said.

"This guy has created terror around the world. He is no longer in a position to kill," Napoleon said.

The man moved to the suburb of Dearborn Heights eight months ago, and also is suspected in the death of Wendy Jordan, 39, of Dearborn Heights. Her body was found in the Rouge River on Jan. 2, Napoleon said.

Napoleon would not release the man's name, but said he is originally from North Carolina, is married and has at least one child. The suspect has worked at Detroit Metropolitan Airport as a refueler for the last month, the chief said.

"The information we have gathered is much more extensive than imagined, obviously, when we started this investigation. The process might take longer than we anticipated because now it's become extremely global," Napoleon said.

Five days ago, a prostitute called Detroit police to report that she had been assaulted, and gave a description of the suspect and his vehicle.

Then on Monday, a passenger on a train spotted a body near a mixed residential and industrial area. Investigators then found two other women's bodies nearby.

All three women were prostitutes killed at different times, then dumped in the isolated area, Napoleon said. They were strangled in the suspect's car, Napoleon said. One of the women was identified as Kelly Hood, 33, of Detroit. The names of the other two were not immediately released.

The first body had been placed in the area four weeks ago, the second three weeks ago, and the third on Monday, Napoleon said.

Dearborn Heights police Lt. Gary Tomkiewicz said the person who called in the report of the body found in the Rouge River in January was this suspect.

Police suspected him of Jordan's death and had taken DNA samples from his car and were awaiting the results, Tomkiewicz said, when the bodies were discovered Monday.

The killer may have targeted prostitutes because he believed police would not try to solve the slayings as aggressively, Napoleon said. But investigators worked around the clock and called in the FBI and state police for help, he added.

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