Sad: Two More Detroit Women Found Dead; Linked to Escort Ads

December 27, 2011 ‐ By

Only a week after Detroit police found two women dead in the trunk of a vehicle, the bodies of two more women have been found burned beyond recognition in the trunk of a flaming car.

Demesha Hunt, 24, and Renisha Landers, 23, were found last Monday, and on Christmas morning, two more women, aged 28 and 29, were found around 1 am. Police have yet to release their names.

Three of the four victims, all of whom were black, were linked to escort services on, a classifieds website similar to Craigslist. Although the deaths suggest a sad pattern, police are reluctant to call the murders serial killings.

“This tie for us is disconcerting,” Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee Jr. said Monday. “We’re stopping short of calling it a serial pattern.”

While officers declined to disclose how they figured out the escort connection between the women or who owned the cars the bodies were discovered in, Godbee said the police had a “moral obligation” to share the information about the deaths with the public. “With the vast increase in the utilization of social media and the Internet, we must continue to be vigilant in identifying any website which may potentially pose a threat to individuals.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, has quickly filled the “void” left by Craiglist when the site pulled its ad section for sex-related services last September amidst pressure from the public and 17 state attorney generals. In the last 12 months, Backpage has made $24.3 million in revenue from those ads alone.

So far, police have yet to determine the cause of death for the victims and say they are treating the incidents as suspicious deaths for now.

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • JN31

    What’s even more odd is the few media outlets reporting it confirmed the two women are cousins, and the mother of one of the victims had another family member (black female) killed the same way. If that doesn’t sound like a serial pattern then the only thing I need there police department to do is put an ad in the paper that reads “Black Women: We Will Not Investigate Your Death”. It’s beyond ridiculous.

  • WickedlyAwesome

    Why is this the first time I’m hearing about this? I guess it’s not important, once again, when we go missing.

    • Guest

      It’s the first time you hear about it because you don’t read the news.  It’s all over the internet and media.

  • JN31

    Unfortunately popular news outlets wont broadcast this because they don’t fit into what White America wants to ooh and ahh over. It isn’t a little white girl ‘snatched’ in the night… and by “snatched’ I mean injured by the parent who makes up a boogie man story.

    • Tricia Clark

      I wish they would broadcast this so they could get the word out! I did not know escorting was still going on…it always lead to something sexual. 

    • Guest

      Most ridiculous thing I ever heard.  First it’s all over the news and internet, and second it has nothing to do with skin color.  IF there is a bias in catching the criminal it would have to do with the difference between catching someone who abducted CHILD or catching the murderer of (as the majority might see – not I) two ladies of the night.  

      Where do you people come up with this stuff.

  • Sick of the BS

    Right… They don’t need to be relunctant, they need to rule it out first trying to track down a pattern in people that contacted them on that website to rule it out after all they’re all black women in their 20’s, all linked to the same escort website, all in Detroit area found in the trunks of car… at what point do you call them serial killing…  If they did tell the public they’re treating this as a serial killing they’d probably kill 2 birds with one stone, some of the future victims may get off the site or maybe even out the trade completely

  • Tricia Clark

    They have to know what they’re talking about. Sometimes they don’t release the whole truth, so the “suspect”, won’t think they’re on their trial.