By Jeremy Ross


CHICAGO (CBS) — United States Rep. Bobby Rush has asked the FBI to help in the investigation into if Chicago has a serial killer or serial killers on its streets.

“They found my cousin in a dumpster, and nobody can tell me how, why, what was her last words,” said Riccardo Holyfield.

At a panel discussion organized by Rush, Holyfield spoke about dozens of Chicago deaths that share similarities and growing concern around them.

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Since 2001 more than 50 women have been beaten, raped, strangled and had their bodies dumped in secluded places, some set on fire.

“I’m here to keep everybody aware that this can be stopped if we do something,” Holyfield said.

As the CBS 2 Investigators reported, Thomas Hargrove of the Murder Accountability Project believes similarities in many of the cases point to a possible serial killer as early as 2004.

He said almost all the 51 killings he’s scrutinizing occurred in places like alleys, involving trash bins or abandoned buildings; and it’s possible the killer or killers are using public transportation based on the locations of the crimes.

Most victims are described as African American women in their mid 30s.

“Most of these victims were sex workers,” Hargrove said. “Victims disproportionately had histories of sex work, illicit drug use, or both; and this historically is identified as a preferred victim type for serial killers.”

In a panel discussion law enforcement said they’re finished with the forensic analysis of all the evidence and added they’ve found 21 different DNA profiles among 51 women.

But all of those profiles are unknown at this time. No matches have been found.

“Every single swab, every single fingernail, every single thing has been worked up at this time,” Chicago Police Deputy Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said.

There is a call for communities to better watch abandoned buildings and light streets better.

Police also emphasize that people should be more aware of their surroundings.