A handyman who ran errands for elderly tenants in a Brooklyn housing project was arrested Wednesday for a string of murders, the New York Police Department (NYPD) announced Thursday.
Kevin Gavin, 66, murdered three senior residents at the Carter G. Woodson Houses over the span of six years, with his most recent murder happening Jan. 15, police said during a press conference.
“Mr. Gavin was familiar with many of the residents in the building and ran errands for some of the elderly tenants who resided at that location,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison.
“NYPD detectives were able to link Gavin to the murders through witnesses and forensic evidence,” Harrison said.
“He had a relationship with our victims,” Harrison said. “What we believe at this time is it sounds like the reason why he might have committed these acts is over an argument over money or finances.”
Gavin’s killing spree began in 2015 when he murdered 82-year-old Myrtle McKenny, police say. McKenny was found inside her apartment by a home health aide on Nov. 9. Police initially thought McKenny died of natural causes. While being examined, however, police discovered a stab wound to the neck, turning the investigation into a homicide investigation. (RELATED: Murder Surged In New York City During 2020, And Police Suggest Defund The Police Might Have Something To Do With It)
The second victim was 83-year-old Jacolia James who was found lying face down in her apartment on April 30, 2019, according to Harrison. James’ grandson had been with her just four hours prior to his discovery.
“Ms. James had injuries to her face and neck which were highly suspicious,” Harrison said.
The third victim is Juanita Caballero, 78, who was found on Jan. 15.
“Her son came to spend the weekend with her and instead found her lying in her apartment with a telephone cord wrapped around her neck,” Harrison said.
“I am confident the defendant took advantage of his relationship with these women, was allowed into their homes, and did unspeakable acts of violence against them” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said. “I think that this arrest will have a profound impact on the sense of public safety in Brooklyn.”
The investigation is ongoing.