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Suspect in transgender woman's death a potential serial killer, police say

Police in Texas say they've arrested a potential serial killer after the murder of three people, including a transgender woman whose death brought nationwide attention. Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, was arrested last week in connection with the deaths of an unnamed man and woman in north Dallas. But detectives announced that they have also linked him to the death of Muhlaysia Booker, a 23-year-old transgender woman. 

By analyzing cell phone records, detectives say they learned that Lyles was in the same area where Booker was picked up, as well as the scene of her shooting death the same day. Booker's father, Pierre, says the arrest brings some relief -- but will not bring back his child.

"I just never thought in a million days I'd lose one of my kids," he said. "Rest easy, baby."

In April, Booker was the victim of an unrelated beating captured on cell phone video. She told authorities her attackers used homophobic slurs. She spoke out while still recovering from her wounds to call attention to violence against transgender women of color.

"This time it was me," she said on April 20. "Next time it could be someone else close to you."  

Thus far, he's been charged with three counts of murder, according to Max Geron of the Dallas Police Department. But police say he might be connected to additional murders, too, including the killing of another transgender woman. He's a person of interest in the death of Chynal Lindsey, who was killed just days before his arrest.

"As for the other cases, we continue to investigate them, and will look to see if there are ties to Lyles to those other cases," Geron said.

Detectives are looking to see if there's a connection between the shooting deaths of Booker and 29-year-old Traylon Brown, who identified as Brittany White, as well as the non-fatal stabbing of another transgender woman. Lyles does not yet have an attorney, and is being held without bond.

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