Authorities Track Serial Killer Suspect To The Atlanta Area - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

May 27, 2003

Authorities Track Serial Killer Suspect To The Atlanta Area

Reports say Lee may have altered his appearance by completely shaving his head. Reports say Lee may have altered his appearance by completely shaving his head.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says they have reason to believe that Derrick Todd Lee -- the man police are now calling the South Louisiana Serial Killer -- is in the Atlanta area. They warned people not to approach Lee because is considered extremely armed and dangerous. Lee is wanted for the murders of at least five south Louisiana women.

Derrick Todd Lee, 34, was charged in warrant issued Monday for the murder and aggravated rape of Carrie Lynn Yoder, 26, a Louisiana State University graduate student who became the serial killer's fifth known victim in March.

"On Sunday the Lousiana Marshal Service contacted us and said the suspect may possibly be in this area. We then began an investigation and found him in fact to be here. -- Then  we began talking to some of the people that he himself has communicated with," said Vernon Keenan of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Keenan says they have tracked Lee to Chicago and Atlanta and that he likes to travel by bus. He said they believe this is Lee's second trip to the Atlanta area, where it is their understanding that he has been working for the past week. Lee, who is a skilled concrete finisher, is reported to have been doing various construction work in Atlanta.   

Lee was living at the Lakewood Motor Lodge, where he paid $135 a week for a one-room efficiency. Neighbors say he was a handsome, smooth-talking man who dated several women and promised cognac if they would come to his room. However, Lee left the one-room dwelling Monday, the day police issued the warrant for his arrest. Lee told residents his mother was sick and he had to go home to Louisiana. But police say they think he's still nearby.   

"We feel the suspect  is still in this area. We've received reports as early as this morning saying he was still in the area," said Keenan. 

Derrick Lee is described as being a light to medium skinned black male, weighing approximately 210 pounds, standing 6'1", with short black hair and brown eyes. Georgia authorities say a recent description says that Derrick Lee may have completely shaved his head.

They urge anyone who sees Lee to call the Louisiana Tip Line at 1-866-389-3310 or the Georgia Bureau Tip Line at 1-800-597-TIPS.

Meanwhile, West Feliciana authorities are assuring residents there that they are safe and that the search for Derrick Todd Lee continues. West Feliciana Parish Sheriff William Daniel had a message for Derrick Lee.

"I have a message for Derrick Todd Lee if you can hear me: I met with your mother this morning, for the sake of her health, she has asked me to ask you to turn yourself in," said Daniel. 

As the nationwide manhunt continues Sheriff Daniel is urging the residents in West Feliciana to stay alert. "Although there have been numerous reports of Mr. Lee being in Atlanta, Georgia -- we urge our residents to be cautious and consider Mr. Lee to be armed and dangerous and still in the West Feliciana parish," said Daniel.

They also confirmed what 9 News told you first -- that the murder and disappearance of two Zachary women led them to pursu Lee's DNA as a possible match to the serial killer's. Lee was the prime suspect in the 1992 murder of Connie Warner and the 1998 disappearance of Randi Mebruer. He was swabbed for DNA earlier this month on or about May 5th. Authorities say after handing over his DNA, Lee got nervous and went on the run.     

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