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"Kensington Strangler" Suspect Charged with Rape, Murder of Phila. Women

Antonio Rodriguez (CBS/Philadelphia Police Dept.)

Philly "Kensington Strangler" Antonio Rodriguez Charged with Rape and Murder of Philadelphia Women
Antonio Rodriguez (CBS/Philadelphia Police Dept.)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/KYW/AP) Antonio Rodriguez, the transient charged with raping and killing three women in Philadelphia, is being held without bail on three counts of murder.

The 22-year-old wore a white sweat shirt
and covered his face for part of his brief arraignment Thursday afternoon.

He was charged with the deaths of Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini, and Casey Mahoney.

All three of the women were murdered in November and December in a stretch of the Kensington neighborhood in Philadelphia known for open prostitution and drugs.

Rodriguez was arrested Monday evening on an unrelated bench warrant after police said they had identified the 22-year-old drifter, who had recently been released from prison, as a "strong person of interest" in the case.

During questioning the next day, detectives said Rodriguez showed very little remorse when he confessed to the murders and offered very little in way of a motive for the murders other than saying the violent attacks "just happened."

Detectives said that they were able to link Rodriguez to the crimes after his name, along with a DNA sample he submitted to state police after he was jailed on drug charges, appeared in the state's offender database.

Investigators are still trying to determine if Rodriguez had a temporary or permanent residence while he was free, but they believe the suspect wandered the streets and stayed in abandoned homes.

Rodriguez remains in custody.

January 19, 2011 - "Kensington Strangler" Suspect Confesses, Claims Murders "Just Happened," Say Phila. Police
January 18, 2011 - "Kensington Strangler" Suspect Has No Violent Record, Says Prison Official