DALLAS - Dallas police have arrested a serial murder suspect who they say killed Muhlaysia Booker and at least two other people. Police also said he is a person of interest in the murder of transgender woman Chynal Lindsey.
Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, has been charged with Booker's murder, along with murder charges in two other cases. He was arrested on June 5.
Lyles was being held without bond in the Collin County Jail in McKinney. He has no attorney yet to speak for him.
The investigation into Lyles began on May 22 when Dallas PD got a call about a shooting in the 7800 blocks of McCallum Blvd. A woman was shot there, and later died from her injuries.
Police got a tip that Lyles had committed the May 22 murder. Someone who knew Lyles gave police details about the case that only the suspect would have known. A warrant was then issued for Lyles for that murder, and he was arrested on June 5.
Investigators were later able to connect Lyles to another murder in the 17500 block of Coit Rd. on May 23. A witness told police that she and Lyles drove to meet the victim as part of a drug transaction. As the victim went to his car, he was shot by Lyles and later died, police say. Lyles was also charged in this murder case.
During the investigation into the two murders, detectives found that Lyles drove the same kind of car that picked up Muhlaysia Booker just before her murder on May 18. Evidence put Lyles near the scene of where Booker was picked up and where her body was later discovered. Booker was last seen getting into a light colored Lincoln LS, which is the same type of car driven by Lyles.
Muhlaysia Booker was fatally shot last month, just weeks after being attacked in a mob-style assault in Dallas on April 12.
“We're glad the police took this serious,” said Kirk Myers with Abounding Prosperity. “It's a good day, and now we want to make sure that he's prosecuted.”
Booker is one of three black transgender women who have been murdered in the city of Dallas in the last eight months.
Brittany White, who used to go by Traylon Brown, was murdered last October. Her family only released a photo of her before her transition.
Shortly after Booker's body was found, the body of 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey was pulled from White Rock Lake on June 1. Detectives say Lyles may also be responsible for Lindsey's murder. He is being considered a person of interest in that case.
Tamaya, Lindsey’s cousin, has been begging the community for tips since her murder and reacted to the news.
“If this is the person, he needs to be held accountable to what he did because it's not right,” Tamaya said. “He needs to suffer. He needs to pay.”
"We extend thanks to our community because without the tips and witnesses coming forward, it is likely these cases would remain unsolved," Dallas PD said. "It is through our partnerships with the community that we are all able to successfully combat crime."
Detectives are also looking into whether or not Lyles has any ties to the murder of Brittany White.
Lyles is being held without bond at the Collin County jail in McKinney.
Neither of the two murders that led detectives to Lyles were of transgender people.