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Michigan man’s alleged fatal hit-and-runs targeted female sex workers
Updated May 20, 2020; Posted May 20, 2020By Justine Lofton | firstname.lastname@example.org
DETROIT – A Garden City man is suspected in the hit-and-run deaths of two women and the non-fatal hit-and-runs of two other women. Two of the victims were pregnant.
Lawrence Paul Mills III, 32, is believed to have targeted Caucasian sex workers on the southside of Detroit, Detroit police Chief James Craig said during a news conference. A 3-year investigation led police to believe he would approach his victims for a paid sex encounter and engage in the act inside his vehicle. When the victim left the vehicle, he would strike them with it and then reclaim his payment for the act.
Detroit Police Chief James Craig briefing on the arrest of suspect related to multiple fatal and non-fatal assaults
Posted by Detroit Police Department on Friday, May 15, 2020
Police believe there may be other victims and have asked them to come forward. They are already investigating a possible fifth case that could be tied to Mills.
Mills was arraigned on Friday, May 15, in connection to a Dec. 22, 2017, incident in which he is accused of intentionally striking a then-pregnant woman with a vehicle several times before driving away, according to a news release from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. The woman and her unborn child survived.
That was the fourth incident – all in 2017 – in which Mills is suspected. The possible fifth incident occurred in 2018, Craig said.
The first nonfatal incident took place March 17, 2017 around 4 a.m. It involved a 48-year-old white female victim.
The first fatal alleged hit-and-run occurred around 3 a.m. on Oct. 16, 2017. The 34-year-old white female victim was pregnant, and she and her unborn child died at the scene, according to the prosecutor’s office.
The next incident occurred around 3 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2017, when the suspect allegedly purposely hit and killed a 59-year-old white female with a vehicle.
The last known incident that is allegedly connected to Mills occurred around 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2017. Mills allegedly stuck a 28-year-old pregnant Hispanic woman with a vehicle several times before driving away; she and her unborn child survived the incident. The victim fled the scene on foot and called police. She was then rushed to a hospital.
After years of investigation, Mills was taken into custody on April 24, authorities said. He has been arraigned and charged in connection to three of the cases.
In Dec. 22 case, Mills is charged with assault with intent to murder and knowing assault/assault and battery of a pregnant person. In the Oct. 16 case of the 34-year-old woman and her unborn child who both died, Mills is charged with first degree murder and assault on a pregnant individual causing miscarriage or stillbirth. Mills is charged with first degree murder in the death of the 59-year-old woman.
Mills allegedly used the same vehicle — a 2006 golden tan Chevy Trailblazer — in each of the 2017 incidents. Police are investigating a possible fifth victim of a 2018 incident in which they believe Mills used a dark-colored Chevy Cobalt, Craig said.
Police believe there could be even more victims.
“We want to make sure the sex worker community that we’re here to seek justice for you and your family so please, please step forward,” Craig said.