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Drifter Is Wanted in 8 Slayings

<i> From Associated Press</i>

An alleged serial killer who is apparently making his way from town to town by hopping freight trains was charged Monday with murdering a father and daughter in Illinois, bringing to eight the number of slayings authorities link to him.

Rafael Resendez-Ramirez was also put on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List. He is sought for questioning in five killings in Texas and one in Kentucky since August 1997.

“All I do know is that if this person is the person we suspect in these crimes, it’s a very dangerous and violent person,” said Don K. Clark, the agent in charge of the FBI’s Houston office and leader of the nationwide task force searching for the suspect. The task force has more than 200 investigators working the case.

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Authorities believe Resendez-Ramirez, 39, has been riding the rails, finding victims along the way. All eight slayings took place on or near railroad tracks.

As for a motive, Clark said: “I wish I could tell you.”

The task force, assembled earlier this month after authorities connected the killings, has stopped and searched freight trains as part of its manhunt, and freight railroads have stepped up security, watching for drifters hopping trains.

“What we’ve learned about him through profiling, it’s just a matter of time before he kills again,” said Mike Cox, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Jackson County, Ill., State’s Atty. Mike Wepseic said fingerprints found on an abandoned truck connect Resendez-Ramirez to the two southern Illinois killings. The bodies of George Morber, 80, and his 52-year-old daughter, Carolyn Frederick, were found June 15 in his home in Gorham, 100 yards from the railroad tracks.

Meanwhile, an FBI spokesman in Chicago said the agency was investigating whether Resendez-Ramirez was involved in the slayings of a couple found dead over the weekend in a farmhouse near railroad tracks in Apple Valley, about 335 north of Gorham.

--- UNPUBLISHED NOTE ---

Rafael Resendez-Ramirez was later determined to be an alias. Stories July 14-29, 1999 use the name Angel Maturino Resendez; stories after July 29, 1999 use the spelling Angel Maturino Resendiz.

--- END NOTE ---


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