Charges uncertain for 1 of 2 Fairfax Co. victims of suspected ‘shopping cart killer’

Fairfax County, Virginia, police and prosecutors have yet to uncover evidence that would allow them to charge serial killer suspect Anthony Eugene Robinson in the death of 48-year-old Stephanie Harrison of Redding, California, sources told WTOP.

However, murder charges will soon be filed in the death of 29-year-old Cheyenne Brown of Southeast D.C., according to sources familiar with the investigation.

More than two months after police identified Robinson as a suspected serial killer in the deaths of at least four people whose remains were found in Harrisonburg and in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, charges have yet to be filed in Fairfax County.

While investigators believe forensic and digital evidence clearly links Robinson with Brown, they have faced more of a challenge in determining how Robinson crossed paths with Harrison.

On the day Robinson’s name was first made public, Fairfax County police said surveillance video showed Brown and Robinson together at a D.C. Metro stop on Sept. 30, and that they rode to the Huntington Metro station. She never returned.

As Fairfax County police were searching for Robinson, in connection with Brown’s death, detectives discovered two sets of human remains were found Dec. 15 in an isolated wooded area near the 2400 block of Fairhaven Avenue in the Huntington area of Fairfax County. The remains were placed in a large plastic container by a shopping cart near a motel called the Moon Inn.

DNA testing confirmed the identities of the victims as Brown and Harrison.

When Fairfax County police initially dubbed Robinson the “shopping cart killer,” they said he often met victims online through dating apps. Later, police specified the apps included Plenty of Fish and Tagged.

Harrison’s family has said she was in the nation’s capital for sightseeing, and disagrees with the suggestion she may have interacted with Robinson online before apparently being at the Moon Inn at the same time.

Sources familiar with the investigation said detectives have not uncovered digital or forensic evidence that proves why Harrison and Robinson were both at the Moon Inn. In early January, police were searching through large plastic bags filled with paper receipts provided by the motel.

Robinson has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and disposing of the bodies of two female victims. Both victims were found in a vacant Harrisonburg lot in late November.

Those victims were identified as Allene Elizabeth Redmon, 54, of Harrisonburg and Tonita Lorice Smith, 39, of Charlottesville.

Robinson’s attorney in Harrisonburg, Louis Nagy, has not disclosed any defense strategies ahead of Robinson’s next court appearance on May 9.

Nagy asked the court to order the police to stop referring to his client as “a serial killer” and “the shopping cart killer.” He’s also asking the court to prevent the police from releasing any information on the case to the media without the court’s permission — the judge has not set a hearing for arguments.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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