Billy Chemirmir, the suspected murderer who is also being investigated for a link to a string of attacks on elderly people in North Texas, used an alias, according to police.
The Plano Police Department’s criminal investigative services division said Chemirmir used the name Benjamin Koitaba while working as – or posing as – a healthcare professional.
Chemirmir, 45, has been charged with capital murder in Dallas and attempted murder in Collin County. He is a suspect in at least three cases in which an elderly person was attacked by someone who forced his way into their residence.
The capital murder charge stems from a case in which an 81-year-old woman was found dead after possibly being smothered earlier this month. Chemirmir was arrested when he was seen throwing a jewelry box in a dumpster nearby.
Police had been watching Chemirmir after a similar attack in October of last year, involving a smothered elderly person and stolen jewelry.
Vehicle information linked Chemirmir to a third attack on March 19, in which a 91-year-old woman was smothered but resuscitated.
The possible connection between the cases led police to launch an investigation into other unexplained elderly deaths or deaths of natural causes. Dallas police plan to investigate over 750 deaths in their city alone. Preston Place, a senior living facility in Plano, is looking at recent deaths involving elderly women who had items stolen from their rooms.
It was not clear whether or not Chemirmir was ever a licensed healthcare worker.
One of the companies he worked for, Home Health Companions, told WFAA they employed a man named Benjamin Koitaba, but he was let go in January 2016, before the alleged incidents occurred.
"Prior to his employment, we performed the rigorous background checks and licensing protocol as we do all of our employees," they said. "However, we were recently informed by authorities that the name, photo and licensing he presented our company was a stolen identity. All of the clients whom he cared for under our employment are well and have been accounted for. We are currently reviewing our hiring processes to see how we might make our already scrupulous process even stronger under similar circumstances."
An immigration hold was placed on Chemirmir, who is from Kenya and moved to the U.S. in 2003.
Police ask that citizens who have any information on Chemirmir or know of any more possible victims call their tip line at (972) 941-5785.
• Watch: How to protect an elderly loved one