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Archive for Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Charges filed in one of six K.C. slayings

September 15, 2004

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— A Kansas City man was charged Tuesday in the death of one of six women whose bodies were recently found in a neighborhood frequented by drug addicts and prostitutes.

Terry A. Blair, 42, was charged with one count of first-degree murder in the death of Sheliah McKinzie, 38. Prosecutors said semen found on McKinzie's body was Blair's.

Police investigating a report of a foul odor found McKinzie's body along with another badly decomposed victim Sept. 2 in a detached garage. The remains were among the six that were found on vacant lots or near vacant buildings in an 18-block area east of downtown. Three bodies had been decomposed beyond recognition, and one of those still has not been identified.

"The investigation of the other five homicides is ongoing," said Jackson County prosecutor Mike Sanders, who repeatedly said he could not discuss in detail the investigation into the other five deaths.

But, Sanders allowed, "we believe that other charges in one or more of those homicides are possible."

Police said earlier that they believed one person was responsible for the deaths.

One of the victims, 42-year-old Anna Ewing, was found July 14. The five other bodies were found over three days earlier this month.

Municipal and county court records show all the identified victims had run-ins with the law: Three of them had been convicted of prostitution or solicitation charges, and the five victims who have been identified had faced drug charges.

McKinzie was convicted of solicitation, according to municipal court records. She also was convicted of drug charges in municipal and county courts, records show.

Blair was arrested Friday on a parole violation. Police said then that Blair was one of many people authorities wanted to question about the homicides but that he was not a suspect.

According to the probable cause statement, Blair told police after his arrest that he never knew or had contact with McKinzie and was not responsible or involved in her death.

Blair was convicted of murder in 1982 after he killed his ex-girlfriend.

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