DC Man Accused of Being ‘Shopping Cart Killer’ After Fifth Woman’s Death Linked to Murder Spree
© AP Photo / Bernat ArmangueA shopping cart in the middle of an empty parking lot in a shopping area in San Sebastian de los Reyes, outskirts Madrid, Spain, Saturday, March 14, 2020. Spain's government announced Saturday that it is placing tight restrictions on movements and closing restaurants and other establishments in the nation of 46 million people as part of a two-week state of emergency to fight the sharp rise in coronavirus infections. Spain has followed Italy's path in implementing a similar lockdown after both European countries failed to contain the virus in regional hotspots. The vast majority of people recover from the new coronavirus. According to the World Health Organization, most people recover in about two to six weeks, depending on the severity of the illness.
© AP Photo / Bernat Armangue
Amid the growing popularity of dating apps, several killers have used the service to lure would-be victims to their deaths, with women and gay men being those most commonly targeted.
Virginia police have arrested Anthony Robinson of Washington, DC, on suspicion of being the “Shopping Cart Killer,” a serial killer linked to five murders. The arrest happened after a fifth woman’s death, Sonya Champ of Northeast Washington, was connected to the other four. Her body was found on September 7, 2021, stuffed in a shopping cart in a city park just blocks from the US Capitol Building.
However, according to DC’s Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), the cause of Champ’s death has not yet been determined. An MPD spokesperson told the Washington Post they had “digital evidence” putting Robinson close to Champ at the time of her death, noting that she may have been homeless and living in a tent encampment outside Union Station, the capital’s main railway hub.
6 June 2022, 03:55 GMT
The other four victims were all women as well - Allene Elizabeth Redmon of Harrisonburg, Virginia; Tonita Lorice Smith of Charlottesville, Virginia; Cheyenne Brown of the District of Columbia; and Stephanie Harrison of Redding, California. All were found dead, stuffed in shopping carts in Northern Virginia in 2021. However, according to WTOP, Robinson has only been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, as police attempt to tie the other three deaths to him as well. The causes of their deaths have so far been deemed “undetermined” and not classified as homicides.
According to police, the women were lured to their deaths via an online dating app, meeting Robinson at a motel where they were killed before their bodies were disposed of in shopping carts.
Several murder sprees have similarly been tied to killers who used dating apps to contact their victims. Last October, a New Jersey man was sentenced to 160 years in prison for killing three women in that way, kidnapping them and desecrating their remains after they were dead. Last month, a man was arrested in the Basque Country in connection with the deaths of four gay men also lured to their deaths via a dating app.