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Virginia police say 'shopping cart killer' may be tied to fifth death, ID two victims

Police say DNA helped identify Cheyenne Brown and Stephanie Harrison. A man suspected in their deaths and charged in two others may also be tied to a D.C. slaying, they said.

Police on Friday released the names of two women who may have been the third and fourth known victims of northern Virginia's alleged "shopping cart killer," who they said may also be tied to a fifth victim in Washington, D.C.

Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said at a Friday night news conference that DNA evidence helped identify the victims as Cheyenne Brown, 29, of Washington, D.C., and Stephanie Harrison, 48, of Redding, California.

Their remains were found in a container near the Moon Inn hotel in Alexandria, Virginia, on Dec. 15, police said. A shopping cart was nearby.

Anthony Eugene Robinson, 35, is the primary suspect in the deaths of Brown and Harrison, Davis said, but has not been charged. Davis said he anticipates criminal charges in the future.

"Robinson was the last person to be seen alive with Cheyenne," Davis said.

Robinson has been charged in connection with the murders of two other women, Allene Elizabeth “Beth” Redmon, 54, and Tonita Laurice Smith, 39, whose bodies were discovered in a commercial area of Harrisonburg, Virginia, on Nov. 23.

Investigators working the Harrisonburg case said security video and cellphone data placed the suspect with Redmon and Smith prior to their deaths.

"He transported the bodies of these women in a shopping cart," Davis said Friday. "We believe he transported at least one of our Fairfax County victims in a shopping cart as well."

Fairfax County Police Major Ed O’Carroll added that a fifth possible victim, whose remains were found in a shopping cart covered by a blanket in Washington, D.C. could be tied to the allegations against Robinson.

"This is based on digital evidence that puts him in the same vicinity around the time of the victim’s disappearance," O'Carroll said at the news conference.

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating that case.

Police said there may be additional victims, including women who might have survived attacks, who could be tied to the alleged spree. Davis said the suspect used dating apps including Plenty of Fish and Tagged "to lure his victims," and that he had met Brown on such a platform.

Robinson's attorney, Louis K. Nagy, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Brown's family said she was pregnant and left behind a 7-year-old son when she died.

Her mother spoke to investigators about her personality, Davis said.

“She wanted everyone to know that Cheyenne had a huge heart and was trusting and thought of everyone as her friend," he said.

Harrison’s daughter told investigators “her mom was a beloved mother and even a better grandmother,” the chief said.

"She was the kindest person, and helped everyone, and would give you her last dime,” the daughter said, according to Davis.

O’Carroll said it wasn’t clear if Harrison met the suspect online, but said investigators would like to speak to anyone who interacted with him on dating sites because they could have "crucial" information about the case.

Detectives also want to talk to anyone who met him in the area or stayed with him at the Moon Inn.

Police said the remains were found “tucked away in an isolated wooded area,” in a container near a shopping cart.
Police said the remains were found “tucked away in an isolated wooded area,” in a container near a shopping cart.Fairfax County Police Dept.

Records indicate Robinson stayed at the hotel the day Brown went missing as well as on five other occasions, Davis said.

“This case is not about shopping carts,” O’Carroll said. “It’s about a serial killer who took the lives of innocent women.”

Robinson, listed as a resident of Washington, D.C. in court documents, was being held at Rockingham-Harrisonburg Regional Jail on two counts of murder and two counts of felony disposal of human remains in connection with the discovery of the remains of Redmon and Smith, police said.

Fairfax County investigators have been in contact with 35 other law enforcement departments in the region to determine if any unsolved cases, including outstanding missing women, have consistencies with the allegations in the shopping cart cases.

In December, Davis described the suspect’s modus operandi as “dating sites, motels, blunt force trauma, shopping cart, final resting place.”