Growing fears that a serial killer targeting women could be on the loose in Chicago

There are new concerns that a serial killer could be on the loose in Chicago following a series of cases involving murdered or missing women.

On Thursday, Congressman Bobby Rush brought together a panel of police, prosecutors, and criminologists to address growing fears that the unsolved strangulations of more than 50 black women on the south and west sides could be the work of a serial killer.

“I’m here to say and to tell law enforcement: do not dismiss this!  Don’t keep going about this like you’re trying to prove a point that it’s not a serial killer!” said Riccardo Holyfield, whose cousin was found strangled.

“The real tragedy is she left behind Chad, her 11 year old son. He would ask me, daily, ‘auntie, did they find my mama yet?’” said Eileen Ross.

Thomas Hargrove – who is the head of an organization out of Washington, DC called the “Murder Accountability Project” -- presented quite a bit of evidence pointing to a possible serial killer in these 51 unsolved strangulations. First, 94 percent of the victims were found in outdoor locations -- trashcans, alleys or abandoned homes.

Second, 76 percent of the victims are African American and 75 percent of the murders had a clear sexual component to them.

Third, the median age of the victims has gradually been increasing over the last 15 years, which experts say may indicate this could be the work of one party.

"This would be commensurate with a killer who is comfortable with older targets, and perhaps becoming more comfortable as he or they age,” said Hargrove.

He ended his presentation with a warning that the killer or killers are targeting sex workers and women with a history of drug addiction. He says anyone in that demographic should take precautions.