Man Arrested in Virginia Shopping Cart Killer Investigation

A.W. Naves

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Shopping cart located at the crime scene(Photo: Fairfax Police Dept.)

In a December 2021 press conference, Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said that a man named Anthony Robinson is suspected of killing at least four women in Virginia. Robinson had been charged with two of the deaths in November 2021, but police now believe he may be responsible for the deaths of two other women in Virginia and possibly a fifth murder in Washington, D.C.

According to the Fairfax County police, 35-year-old Robinson allegedly lured women he met on dating websites such as Plenty of Fish and Tagged to local motel rooms where he would torment them, kill them and then dump their bodies in vacant lots using shopping carts to transport them there.

The bodies of four of the women were found in two different areas of the state and attributed to a serial killer nicknamed the “Shopping Cart Killer” by investigators in the case prior to Robinson’s arrest. 

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Suspected "Shopping Cart Killer" Anthony Robinson(Photo: Fairfax Police Dept.)

54-year-old Allene Elizabeth “Beth” Redmon and 39-year-old Tonita Lorice “Nita” Smith were found in Harrisonburg, Virginia. 29-year-old Cheyenne Brown and 48-year-old Stephanie Harrison were found outside the Moon Inn hotel in Alexandria, Virginia in a container near an abandoned shopping cart.

In his statement to the press, Chief Davis said:

“We’re in the process of conducting, along with many other partners, a retrospective investigation to figure out where he’s been and we’re going to work with our law enforcement partners, homicide detectives, missing person detectives, to see if we can identify any other victims and families and communities that he has brought harm to.”

After Robinson was arrested in the first two cases, Washington’s Metropolitan Police Department contacted authorities working on the case to say that Brown was the last known person in contact with Cheyenne Brown, who was initially listed as missing on September 30, 2021. Police were unable to locate her in the vicinity of where she was last seen but a tip sent them back to the location for another search. They noticed a shopping cart in the distance and now armed with the knowledge that Robinson had transported his other victims this way, went to investigate further.

Near the cart were the bodies of Cheyenne Brown and Stephanie Harrison. Cheyenne was identified by her family from a tattoo. Chief Davis said that police would normally not consider this a positive identification until they confirm through dental or DNA records, but because they were afraid there might be other victims still, they wanted to get the information out so they could act quickly. The identities of both women were later confirmed by DNA.

Harrisonburg Chief Kelley Warner spoke alongside Chief Davis at the press conference, saying that Robinson has refused to give a statement since his arrest.

Robinson has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in addition to two felony counts of concealing, transporting, or altering a corpse. He has not yet been charged in relation to the two additional murders, but police had indicated that charges are pending. He is currently being held without bond on the original two charges in the Rockingham County Jail.

The FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit has been tasked with creating a victimology profile, according to Chief Davis. There are currently 35 agencies partnered to determine if there are any other missing persons cases that might be linked to Robinson.

WUSA-TV reports that authorities have already received another tip about a woman found deceased and left covered by a blanket in a shopping cart in Washington D.C. Police are investigating whether this could be Robinson’s fifth victim.

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Possible victims of the "Shopping Cart Killer"(Photo: Fairfax Police Dept, Facebook)

According to ABC News, the body of 40-year-old Sonya Champ was found in a shopping cart near Union Station by the Metropolitan Police Department. The case is still under investigation, but the information being found is being shared among all departments that may have connected crimes.

Anyone with information that may help in these cases, or any other possible cases, is asked to call FCPD’s Major Crimes Division at 703–246–7800. Anonymous tips can be made by calling 1–866–411-TIPS.

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Freelance Writer. Author. Alabamian. I write about true crimes, unsolved cases, and macabre mysteries.

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