DC police investigate possible 5th victim of suspected ‘shopping cart killer’

D.C. police are investigating whether a woman found in a shopping cart covered by a blanket in the District may be the fifth victim of suspected serial killer Anthony Eugene Robinson.

First reported on WTOP, the unidentified woman’s body was found in the 200 block of F Street NE, a few blocks from Union Station.

WTOP’s news partners NBC Washington reported that D.C. police are investigating the death of 40-year-old Sonya Champ as Robinson’s potential fifth victim.

Fairfax County police identified two other victims — Stephanie Harrison, 48, of Redding, California, and, Cheyenne Brown, 29, of Southeast D.C. Their remains were found in a plastic container near a shopping cart in a wooded area near the 2400 block of Fairhaven Avenue.

DNA linked Harrison and Brown, to the remains discovered in a plastic container, near the Moon Inn in the Alexandria section of Fairfax County along Route 1, according to police.

Detectives flew to California last month to investigate whether the fourth victim could be Harrison.

Fairfax County police suspected one of the other victims was Brown, after her family members recognized her tattoos.

As for the possible fifth victim, which is being investigated by D.C. police, Beverly Fields, spokeswoman with the D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), said an autopsy performed Sept. 7 classified the cause of the woman’s death as “undetermined.” This means that forensic investigation from the autopsy and information from police didn’t lead the medical examiner to conclude the death was natural, accidental, suicide or homicide.

“Nothing in the OCME investigation allowed us to close the case,” a D.C. police spokesperson who asked not to be identified said. “The case remains under investigation.”

Anthony Guglielmi, lead spokesman with the Fairfax County police, said the agency only recently became aware of the woman’s death.

“This case came to light this week through a tip, and we immediately contacted MPD with the information that may identify Robinson as a person of interest,” Guglielmi said. “He may have been one of the last to see the new D.C. victim alive.”

Two sources involved in the investigation said digital information gathered by Harrisonburg and Fairfax County police placed Robinson in the general vicinity of where the woman’s body was found.

Robinson is suspected of killing at least four people whose remains were found in Alexandria and Harrisonburg, Virginia. Police have been on the search for possible additional victims.

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 is not currently charged in connection with Brown’s or Harrison’s deaths, but Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said he expects he eventually will be.

Friday night, Davis said Brown had communicated with Robinson on the Plenty of Fish dating app, and Robinson had also used the Tagged app to lure women.

When Davis first identified Robinson as the “shopping cart killer,” he said Robinson would meet victims from online dating sites at motels before killing them and transporting their remains in shopping carts to “their final resting place.”

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.

“We’ve been in touch with multiple family members, and we’re looking at this case scientifically, through that digital footprint, and that particular point [of how Robinson and Harrison interacted] is still active,” Maj. Ed O’Carroll, chief of the Major Crimes, Cyber and Forensics Bureau for county police, said.

Guglielmi said investigators haven’t determined any possible relationship between Robinson and the woman whose body was found in the District.

Asked by WTOP about the investigation into a possible fifth victim, Robinson’s defense attorney, Louis Nagy had no comment

WTOP’s Anna Gawel contributed to this report.

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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