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Friends of victims tied to suspected serial killer talk to Action News

Posted at 7:03 PM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 19:49:30-04

DETROIT (WXYZ)  — "I knew her as a friend," said a woman about Nancy Harrison, the first woman killed by a suspected serial killer operating on the city's east side.

On Wednesday, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said they believe a serial killer is responsible for the murders of three women he said have ties to sex work.

"Her job shouldn't define the importance of her murder being solved," said Harrison's friend.

Harrison's body was found on March 19 inside a vacant house on Coventry near East State Fair. The cause of death for the 52-year-old Hazel Park woman is blunt force trauma. 7 Action News is in touch with the family of Nancy Harrison and they say she was not a sex worker.

Family and friends of 53-year-old Travesene Ellis reported she was last seen on Easter Day on Linnhurst near Gratiot. Her body was found about a month later on May 24 inside a vacant house on Linnhurst.

For the last few years, Alice Young let Ellis live with her and her family. The last time she saw her was that Easter Sunday.

"I was really concerned," Young said. "We love her."

Then, early Wednesday morning, the decomposing body of a woman was found. Detroit police believe her murder may also be tied to the same killer. Right now, she has not been identified and a cause of death is not known.

Anyone with information on a suspect or suspects is urged to call Detroit Police homicide investigators at 313-596-2260 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.