NORFOLK, Va. - News 3 is following new developments on the investigation involving what police have dubbed the "Shopping Cart Killer" case.
According to police, the suspect met victims on dating sites and eventually at motels, and after killing them, would leave their bodies in shopping carts.
So far, four victims are tied to this case ranging in age from 29 to 54 years old.
Fairfax County and Harrisonburg Police are collaborating with Charlottesville and Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police on the investigation to trace back the suspect’s steps.
Officials said they believe they have the suspect in custody and identified him as Anthony Robinson, 35. Police told News 3 Robinson has been charged with two counts of murder.
“He was almost unassuming in many ways, and that's what makes this case scary,” Maj. Ed O’Carroll, Bureau Chief of the Major Crimes/Cyber and Forensics with Fairfax County Police told News 3. “He is on video relocating human remains in a shopping cart to his final resting place, and he didn't do it once. He did it twice.”
Fairfax County Police told News 3 they've been in touch with every law enforcement agency in the Commonwealth about the case.
Since last week’s announcement, O'Carroll said others have come forward, saying they met Robinson online.
“I know two individuals in particular, once they met upon him, realized that something maybe wasn't right and got away,” O’Carroll said. “They sensed that something wasn't right. They acted swiftly, and their actions may have saved their life.”
O'Carroll mentioned Robinson is believed to have used several online dating sites.
“We do know one is called Plenty of Fish,” O’Carroll said. “There are others out there that he has used.”
This case, O’Carroll mentioned to News 3, is a reminder of being safe with online dating.
“Do it in a public place,” he said. “In life, some risks are worth taking. Risking your life to meet a stranger in a remote spot, we recommend, is not one of them.”
News 3 asked O’Carroll if there are any connections authorities are looking into related to Hampton Roads.
“We haven't ruled out down towards Virginia Beach and the other areas of Virginia, or even outside,” O’Carroll said. “We're still going through a lot of the digital evidence that we have. The search warrants that are going to come back are going to paint a clear picture of his reach.”
“What we might suspect - and again, it's early in the investigation - is that when he's been in contact with these women, they've lived out of the area and traveled here [Fairfax County] to visit him,” O’Carroll added. “Even though he may have not been in the Virginia Beach area, there might be someone in your area that had contact with him and maybe decided not to travel to his area of where he lived in the community.”
This is why, O'Carroll emphasized, it's important to speak up as the investigation continues.
“This serial killer walked and lived among us and did bad things to very good people,” O’Carroll said. “These are innocent people - victims that were harmed. [It’s] such a sad story, and we're working for justice.”
O'Carroll also told News 3 authorities have reached out to law enforcement agencies in Virginia to check their missing person files and the suspicious person calls for potential leads on any other victims.
If you believe you or someone you know had any contact with Robinson, especially on a dating site, you're asked to call either the Fairfax County Police Department, the Harrisonburg Police Department or your local police department.
You can contact the Fairfax County Police Department's Major Crimes Bureau at (703) 246-7800.
You can also submit tips anonymously through their Crime Solvers program at 1-866-411-TIPS.
You can reach the Harrisonburg Police Department at (540) 434-4436 or through their Crime Solvers Anonymous Tip Line at (540) 574-5050.