Derrick Todd Lee, Baton Rouge Serial Killer
One of the first victims known to die at the hands of the Baton Rouge serial killer was 41-year-old Gina Wilson Green. She was a nurse and office manager for Home Infusion Network. Her body was found at her home on Stanford Avenue in Baton Rouge on September 23, 2001. The divorcee lived alone in an apartment near Louisiana State University (LSU).
An autopsy report stated that she died from asphyxiation due to strangulation, at about 9 a.m. Evidence suggested that she had also been sexually molested. Police discovered that several items were stolen from her home, including a cloth purse and a Nokia cellular phone. The purse was never found, but the phone was later recovered across town in an alley.
Eight months later, the body of another woman was found in her townhouse on Sharlo Avenue in Baton Rouge. The remains were of a 22-year-old LSU graduate student named Charlotte Murray Pace. A roommate discovered her body at about 2:00 p.m. on May 31, 2002. She had been stabbed to death. Evidence showed the victim put up a fierce struggle before succumbing to her wounds. It was likely that her killer was also wounded during the attack. Like in Green's case, an autopsy showed evidence of sexual molestation.
Pace had recently moved before her death and lived for only two days at the house where her body was discovered. Her previous address was only three doors away from Gina Green. Investigators found no evidence that they ever knew each other.
Several items were missing from Charlotte's possession. According to police reports, a brown and tan Louis Vuitton wallet with keys to Pace's BMW were stolen. The wallet contained her driver's license, as well as other personal effects. A V-Tech cellular phone and a silver ring were also taken. The killer did leave behind one thing police hoped would lead them to the identity of the killer, a footprint.
In August 2002, a task force was formed of 40 investigators from various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the Baton Rouge Police Department, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office, the Louisiana State Police, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office and the Iberville Parish Sheriff's Office, among others. The Multi-Agency Homicide Task Force was formed to establish a clearer line of communication among the bureaus. They believed this could help them share information better and catch the killer more quickly.
Samples from the Pace crime scene were genetically compared with samples from the Green crime scene. DNA evidence indicated that the same man murdered the two women. Months later, the Louisiana State Crime Lab was also able to link Kinamore's death to the same killer.
Investigators continued to compare DNA samples of the killer with samples taken from several dozen unsolved murder cases over the last decade. They hoped to be able to obtain enough information so that the murderer, if caught, would be put behind bars for a long time. There was no doubt that Baton Rouge had a serial killer on the loose.