Alleged Indiana serial killer Darren Deon Vann reportedly told police that a hit man recently paid him $300 and gave him drugs to kill a 35-year-old, Merrillville, Ind., woman, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
On Wednesday, the former U.S. Marine, who was discharged from service for reasons that are unclear, was charged with murder, murder in perpetration of a robbery and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury in the death of the woman, Anith Jones, according to CBS Chicago. Her body was among six found over the weekend in vacant buildings scattered across Gary, Ind., where Vann lived.
It was the second murder charge to be filed against the 43-year-old man, who lived life on the margins, working odd jobs and scouring sex ads in his spare time.
He was arrested Saturday and charged with the strangulation death of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy, whose body was found Friday in a bathtub at a Motel 6, about 20 miles southeast of Chicago, according to various reports.
The Sun-Times reports:
Motel surveillance footage led authorities to Vann, who apparently relished “basking” in the “glory” of his work, police said. He told investigators where to find the bodies of Jones and five others, and allegedly admitted to other murders dating back 20 years, police said.
Whether Vann, 43, was a hit man hired to kill Jones, as he allegedly claimed, or a lone operator spinning a yarn for police remains unclear in the affidavit. But the document does offer a grim account of how Vann groomed Jones for weeks to build trust, lured her to a Gary home under the guise of pay-for-sex, and then strangled her with a cord.
It also details how Vann stuffed her body in a garbage can and drove it to a vacant home and hid it in the basement under a pile of teddy bears and tires.
Investigators are working to identify the bodies of other women, according to the Sun-Times.
In addition to Jones and Hardy, authorities have identified the bodies of 36-year-old Kristine Williams and Tearia Batey, 28.
Court records show Vann has a history of violence toward women in both Indiana and Texas. He served a five-year sentence in Texas for sexual assault. During his 2009 sentencing hearing, prosecutors brought up another attack in which he hit a woman in the face and attempted to force her into his apartment in Austin, Texas.
During a 2004 standoff with Gary police, Vann doused himself and his then-girlfriend with gasoline and threatened to set them both on fire, according to court records and an officer who was at the scene. He was later convicted of the minor offense of misdemeanor residential entry.
Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times.