The death in prison this week of Billy Chemirmir, a convicted murderer suspected in the deaths of over 20 older adults over the span of two years, was confirmed.
A Texas Department of Criminal Justice representative said on Tuesday that Chemirmir, 50, was discovered dead in his cell at a Texas state prison the previous morning.
He had been convicted of two charges of capital murder and was serving a life term without the possibility of release at Coffield Unit in Tennessee Colony, Texas.
According to TDCJ, Chemirmir’s “assailant” is his cellmate serving time for murder. Authorities did not disclose the name of Chemirmir’s cellmate and the circumstances of his death.
Chemirmir is suspected in the deaths of 22 elderly ladies in Dallas and Collin Counties between 2016 and 2018.
The investigation into Chemirmir began in March 2018 after 91-year-old Mary Bartel claimed to have survived one of his alleged attacks. She reported that Chemirmir, a former healthcare worker, broke into her apartment at the retirement community and smothered her with a pillow. After she fainted, he snatched her valuables and fled.
The day following Bartel’s attack, Chemirmir was observed by police in the parking lot of his building while wearing jewelry and carrying cash. CBS reports that 81-year-old Lu Thi Harris was discovered dead in her bedroom with lipstick smeared on her pillow after her son threw away a red jewelry box with paperwork that led authorities to her home in Dallas.
Forcing his way into senior citizens’ apartments at a senior housing center or entering their homes under the guise of a maintenance worker, Chemirmir is similarly suspected of killing most of his accused victims.
Former Plano police chief Gregory W. Rushin claimed in a press conference in March 2018 that “Chemirmir exploited his healthcare skills to his advantage, targeting and exploiting seniors, some of the most vulnerable persons in our society.”
In April 2022, Chemirmir had been found guilty of capital murder in the smothering death of Harris. He was convicted guilty of murdering Mary Brooks, who was 87 years old, shortly after.
Chemirmir was not brought to justice for the other purported murders.