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Police: 2003 murder suspect linked to the number of murders in 3 states

DETROIT – Detroit police stated that a murder suspect who was released after his case was botched 15 years ago is also being investigated as a suspect in the number of murders in two other states.

James Matthews, 65, is a suspect in two murders in Michigan, three in Texas and one in New York, police told The Detroit News .

The authorities investigate how 2003 a case against Matthews was assaulted after Detroit police arrested him for allegedly strangling a woman. Matthews was released from prison as arrest warrant against him was not filed within the required time frame of 72 hours.

Detroit detectives enough evidence is collected four months after Matthews’ late filing of a murder warrant officers of justice. But both the police and the prosecutors have said that they don’t know what to do with the case.

“He should have been charged years ago,” said Detroit police Chief James Craig. “There’s enough blame to go around: the Prosecutors never did anything with the warrant request, and our detectives not to follow. The case just fell into a black hole.”

Court records do not list Matthews’ lawyer on Tuesday. He is awaiting extradition from New York to Wayne County, where he faces a murder charge for the 2003 strangulation and assault charges.

The police have linked Matthew’s DNA from a sexual assault case in 2000, said Tracy Weinert, a Detroit officer. Weinert said Matthews and the victim knew each other, and he was arrested after the attack. But the victim never showed up to testify, so she was considered a reluctant witness and he was released.

Officers contacted the victim in April and she decided to testify. Weinert said that it led to Matthews being charged with first-degree criminal sexual assault. He was also arrested in New York in April for a 2007 homicide, but a grand jury dismissed the charges.

“The victims are all black women in their 30s, and they were all strangled in abandoned houses,” Weinert said.

He will be extradited to Michigan in a few weeks, Weinert said.

“We believe (Matthews) is a serial killer who murders after he should have been brought,” Craig said. “It is a tragic situation.”

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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