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Detroit police are looking for a possible serial killer and rapist targeting sex workers

**Embargo: Detroit, MI** Detroit police are investigating a possible serial killer targeting sex workers. By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) -- Detroit police are looking for a possible serial killer and rapist they say may be targeting sex workers on the city's east side.

Authorities have found the bodies of three women whose deaths appear to be connected, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said during a media briefing on Wednesday.

Police opened an investigation after discovering a partially dressed, deceased woman in a vacant building on March 19, Craig said. Investigators first believed that the woman had died of a drug overdose, but a medical examiner ruled that she died of blunt force trauma, he said.

The body of another woman was discovered in a vacant building five days later, Craig said. And on Wednesday, a sex worker reported walking into a vacant dwelling and discovering the "long deceased" body of a third woman, the chief said.

Police believe the suspect is targeting sex workers in their early 50s and that the cases are the act of one person. One victim was 52 years old and another was 53, Craig said.

"Of course, there is a reason why we are linking the three, but because we are still very early in this investigation we just want to identify the violent perpetrator," Craig said.

Craig warned sex workers and people living near abandoned homes in the area where the bodies have been discovered to be cautious.

He also encouraged people to come forward with information.

"This is not about apprehending sex workers, this is about apprehending a very violent, predatory suspect," he said.

The FBI defines serial murder as two or more killings separated by a span of time. A majority of serial killings are sexually motivated, according to the FBI.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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