Charges announced in "Backpage.com Murder Investigation"

(Detroit-WXYZ) - James Brown hardly lifted his head as he listened to the charges brought against him in connection to the murders of four women whose bodies were found in trunks of cars in Detroit last December.

On Saturday, the 24-year-old man from Sterling Heights was charged with one of count Dead Bodies – Disinterment in connection with the homicides of Renisha Landers, 23, and her cousin Demesha Hunt, 24. Their bodies were found in a trunk on Detroit's east side on December 19. Brown faces the same charge plus two additional counts for arson involving the deaths of Natasha Curtis, 29, and Vernithea McCrary, 28. Both of their bodies were found in the trunk of a burning car on Christmas morning.

Police are calling the two cases the "Backpage.com Murders" since three of the four victims had posted advertisements on the website for adult services.

Brown has not been charged with their murders, but Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee suggested the delay in a homicide charge could hinge on the location of the murders. Speaking to reporters on Saturday, he said investigators do not believe the women were murdered in Detroit even though their bodies were dumped there.

Investigators arrested Brown and a 32-year-old man earlier this week. Family members identified that man to be Brown's cousin. Chief Godbee said that man has since been released, but his possible involvement with the murders has not been ruled out.

A preliminary hearing for Brown has been scheduled in 36 th District Court on May 17.

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