Vacant house where suspected Detroit serial killer lived and murdered is open for more predators 

click to enlarge House at Mack Avenue and Mt. Elliott Street where a woman's body was found. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • House at Mack Avenue and Mt. Elliott Street where a woman's body was found.

Mayor Mike Duggan pledged to board up every vacant house on the east side, beginning with a home at Mack and Mt. Elliot, where Tammy Jones’ decomposed, naked body was found on June 5.

The story prompted Police Chief James Craig to warn about a suspect serial killer and rapist preying on women in abandoned houses on the city’s east side. Police believe the serial killer used the house to attack another woman, who managed to escape. The city-owned house was his home base, police said.

But on Tuesday, the house was open to trespass. The plywood that was sealing the front and side door was peeled back on the house, which is just blocks from the Heidelberg Project, a popular tourist destination.

Duggan’s spokesman John Roach tells Metro Times the city was not aware the house was open and will board it up again Friday. It's expected to be demolished soon, Roach said.

So far, Roach said, workers hired by the city have boarded up about 900 houses.

Trouble is, plywood does little to keep people out of vacant homes, which are havens for criminals. That's why Detroit Public Schools sealed its abandoned buildings with metal panels.

Under Duggan’s leadership, the city has demolished more than 12,000 houses.

In July, the suspected serial killer and rapist, Deangelo Martin, was charged with sexually assaulting two other women who survived the attacks. Police believe he killed at least three women in vacant houses, but charges in those cases have yet to materialize.

Detroit police declined to comment on the unsolved cases Thursday.

click to enlarge Living room of the house. View from the front door. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Living room of the house. View from the front door.

click to enlarge Side door is wide open. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Side door is wide open.

click to enlarge Steps leading to a dark basement. - STEVE NEAVLING
  • Steve Neavling
  • Steps leading to a dark basement.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2022 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation