BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Even Baltimore’s police commissioner calls it a very rare occurrence — city police interrupt a murder in progress. They believe it’s not the only murder the suspect is responsible for.
Elias Josael Jimenes Avarado, 21, now faces a rap sheet of charges after police rolled up on him in the middle of a homicide.
Just before 4 a.m. Thursday, officers received a call for the report of a woman screaming off Dolfield Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. They arrived to find Avarado on top of the 35-year-old victim, Ranarda Williams, before he took off.
Police quickly tracked him down and took him into custody, but the woman was already dead. She had been sexually assaulted.
As of now, investigators are linking the 21-year-old to another murder off Bancroft Road last Friday, Sept. 2, where a woman was found dead with trauma to her body.
Police say both victims Avarado targeted were sex workers, and the 21-year-old is in the United States illegally from El Salvador.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years — everyone up here is a police veteran — I can’t remember ever interrupting a homicide in progress. That is such a rare thing. It’s a thing that was done yesterday at 3:40 in the morning, because these patrol officers took their job seriously and put themselves in a position to make this apprehension. If they didn’t make this apprehension, we’d have a murder victim, a who-done-it, an unsolved case,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis said at a Friday afternoon press conference.
Avarado is being charged with first- and second-degree murder, along with assault.
Police have reached out to the sex worker community, trying to get more information on Avarado. They believe he frequented the area often.
The commissioner says Avarado’s immigrant status will not complicate his prosecution.
Anyone with information on either case is urged to call Baltimore City police immediately.