The human remains found in an apartment building in Washington D. C. have been identified as Dorothy Ass, from left, Jewel, the King, in the middle, and Verdell Jefferson.
(Metropolitan Police Department)
The authorities in the capital of the country are investigating whether a serial killer may be responsible for the death of three women who disappeared months apart in 2006 — and whose remains were found after to have found, buried in the neighbourhood of an apartment building Wednesday.
Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham announced the Ids at a news conference, naming the three women as 48-year-old Jewel King, who disappeared in April 2006; 41-year-old Verdell Jefferson, who was missing in August of 2006, and the 43-year-old Dorothy Botts, who was last seen on christmas day of that year.
In response to a question from FOX5, Newsham said investigators were unable to exclude all possible motives, including that the trio may have been the victims of a serial killer.
“We always want to believe that a potential, in this case, but at this point, we don’t even know,” Newsham said.
These pictures show the remains that were found in two separate locations in the south-east of Washington, D. C. last April. (
(Metropolitan Police Department)
King and Jefferson died of wounds and were buried close to each other, the officials said. The two were probably killed in a “suspicious circumstance,” because there was not enough debris discovered between their bodies to indicate that they were buried at different times.
“We believe that they are, at least in that there is at the same time, and likely associated,” he said.
Jefferson, who lived in the same block where her body was found, died of blunt force trauma, police said. Her body was found in a crawl space-113 Wayne SE Place, while the bodies of the King and Jefferson were found, buried in a shallow grave on an adjacent property, 111 Wayne Place SE..
REMAINS FOUND IN A SHALLOW GRAVE IN A DC APARTMENT BUILDING ID’D AS WOMEN WHO DISAPPEARED IN 2006
The three women were mothers, and the authorities try to find other links between them, except that they lived in the “vicinity” of where their remains were eventually found. Police, the victims identified with the help of DNA, they were between the ages of 30 and 60, and then checking missing persons reports to collect DNA samples from potential members of the family.
Two sets of remains were found in a shallow grave next to an apartment building in Southeast D. C. in April.
“When you have a family member missing, I am sure, regardless of how much time has passed, you are always hopeful that they will return,” Newsham said. “I am sure that this news is devastating for these families.”
A family member of Verdell Jefferson, who spoke with FOX5 on the condition that they not be identified, said the family is angry at her remains were found near her home after a fruitless 12-year search, and said that they felt police should have done more. She didn’t know how Jefferson may have known of the other women.
“I think that D. police failed her,” the relative told FOX5. “She looked in her past of drug use, prostitution and those things, and they sweep it under the rug.”
The police hope that the identification of the remains helps “jog the memories of people” and will someone even slightly suspicious of the Southeast D. C. area in 2006. Officials are offering $25,000 for information that leads to an arrest in connection with the killings, and are asking anyone with information to call the Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed