Police seek help finding prostitute killer - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Police seek help finding killer targeting prostitutes

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Kansas City police are seeking the public's help in identifying a man believed to have killed at least two prostitutes.

A third woman barely escaped death. She was found off Interstate 35 in Caldwell County. Police believe her case is connected, but haven't definitively determined that.

Police are concerned the man has the potential to become a serial killer and may have killed others. Detectives are also convinced that others have survived the man's attacks, and are asking them to come forward.

Sgt. Doug Niemeier, who is leading the investigation, said the victims were mothers and daughters.

"They are family members to someone, and they are victims," the detective said. "It doesn't matter what type of lifestyle someone leads. They are a victim. And it doesn't give anyone the right to take their life."

He said both women were found on the side of a country road in similar manners. Both women had their shirts pushed up and their pants pulled down.

"I believe they were meant to be found," Niemeier said. "We believe they were homicides."

Police linked the man to deaths of two women who worked as prostitutes on Independence Avenue in the northeast section of Kansas City.

One woman, Tamara Sparks, 40, was found dead off a road in the Northland in October 2011. Some had wondered if her death was connected to the disappearance of baby Lisa Irwin on Oct. 4, but police said that was not the case.

Sparks was last seen on Oct. 1 at St. John and Denver avenues. Her body was found three days later at 120th and North Eastern streets.

Sparks' death was ruled an accidental overdose, but police initially said they believed her death was suspicious.

Police have since determined the same person who killed Sparks also killed Nicoleone M. Reed, 24, who was found dead near 134th Street and Scott Avenue in Kearney in August 2012. Reed also had a large quality of drugs in her system.

Police aren't saying how the two women were killed.

Reed's mother asked the public to help find her daughter's killer. She said her daughter lost her way, but did not deserve her fate.

The woman, who KCTV5 is not identifying since the killer is still at large, said the suspect is preying on vulnerable women, and that's a scary thought.

"No matter what the girls have done, we don't know what they're going through," she said.

A third woman was attacked and dumped in a ditch where she was left for dead in late 2011. She managed to survive.

A task force involving Kansas City and Kearney police officers has been investigating. The bodies were posed in similar manners.

A size 11 khaki-colored, canvas-style Crocs shoe was left near Sparks' body. The style of Crocs is unusual and is similar to a moccasin. The shoe was well-worn.

Police want to alert prostitutes and find out if anyone saw or knows something that could crack the case.

Police say they believe the suspect was driving a white pickup. The passenger side door was a different color, possibly blue or green. Police offered a wide range of dates for when the truck was built, possibly from the 1970s to the 1990s.

If you have information, call a special hotline at 816-288-0087.

"I do believe and detectives do believe that there are other living victims out there that may not have contacted police yet," Niemeier said. "We would like to speak with anyone who may have been a victim that has not talked to police."

Police say the man likely traveled on major roads and highways in the Northland including I-35, Cookingham Drive and Highways 33 and 69. They are asking motorists to keep an eye out for the vehicle or call if they remember seeing it in the past.

"It is really important that people in Clay, Clinton, Caldwell and DeKalb counties north of Kansas City are in tune with what's going on here," the sergeant said. "That's the people we want looking for this truck."

Veronica's Voice, a Kansas City nonprofit that assists sexual exploitation victim, was founded in honor of a murdered prostitute. The agency works to protect prostitutes from violence even they are reluctant to go to police. Via computer, the agency tracks what is called "the bad trick list," a list of men who hurt women.

The agency will double its efforts to alert prostitutes to the violence that claimed Sparks and Reed in hopes of gathering information that leads to an arrest.

KCTV5's Nima Shaffe contributed to this report.

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