MOUNT CLEMENS (CBS Detroit) – A Macomb County man is accused of murdering four women, locking their bodies in the trunks of their own cars, and then abandoning the cars on the streets of Detroit almost exactly one year ago.
The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office charged Sterling Heights resident James Brown on Monday with the murders of Demesha Hunt, Renesha Landers, Natasha Curtis, and Vernithea McCrary. Brown faces four counts of first degree murder, a life felony, four counts of disinterment and mutilation of a dead body, a 10-year felony, one count of arson of real property, a 10-year felony, and one count of arson of personal property, a five-year felony.
Brown was charged in May in connection with the so-called “Backpage murders,’ but he had only been charged with arson, disinterment and mutilation of a dead body. These are his first murder charges.
Police and prosecutors allege that Brown, 24, initially made contact with the women through online escort services listed at http://www.backpage.com.
After being reached through the site on December 18, 2011, Hunt and Landers drove to Brown’s home on Vancouver in Sterling Heights. Their dead bodies were found the next day in the trunk of a car on Promenade in Detroit.
Authorities confirmed the identity of the last of four women in January 2012, with dental records showing the last victim was 29-year-old Natasha Curtis.
Her badly burned body was found with another body in a car trunk on Christmas Day 2011
Curtis’ boyfriend, Cortez Wingfield, told the Detroit Free Press that she had two children and was a few weeks pregnant.