FBI: Serial killer suspect's tattoo played role in capture
A small, but distinctive tattoo was captured on security camera footage
By Jim Salter
ST. LOUIS — Security camera footage, shell casings and a small but distinctive tattoo played pivotal roles in the arrest of a man suspected in at least six killings over the past two months in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office on Tuesday charged Perez Deshay Reed in the shooting deaths of two people in the city in September. Reed was charged Saturday in two other fatal shootings in September in St. Louis County. He is also suspected of killing two people in Kansas City, Kansas, and the FBI has labeled him a suspected serial killer.
Reed, who turns 26 years old Wednesday, remained jailed on $2 million bond Tuesday and didn't yet have an attorney.
Surveillance video in Kansas helped lead to Reed's arrest. Images captured by the cameras showed the distinctive crescent moon-shaped tattoo on Reed's forehead. Another key factor was evidence left behind at each of the St. Louis-area shootings.
“The commonality among them were handgun casings,” Rich Quinn, special agent in charge of the FBI office in St. Louis, said. “We knew they came from the same handgun.”
Reed is charged in the St. Louis County killings of 16-year-old Marnay Haynes on Sept. 13 and 40-year-old Lester Robinson on Sept. 26. In the city of St. Louis, he is suspected in the killings of 49-year-old Pamela Abercrombie on Sept. 16 and a 24-year-old man, Carey Ross, on Sept. 19. All four victims were shot in the head.
His capture followed the killing of a man and a woman at a Kansas City, Kansas, apartment complex.
Surveillance video showed Reed entering Damon Irvin's apartment on Oct. 28. Police found Irvin, 35, fatally shot in the apartment on Nov. 1, according to an FBI affidavit.
Reed and 25-year-old Rau'Daja Fairrow entered the same apartment complex on the night of Oct. 29 and Reed left 15 minutes later, according to the affidavit. Fairrow's nude body was found Nov. 2 in her apartment. The FBI said Reed showed his driver's license to enter the building, and the surveillance video showed his forehead tattoo.
Officers began tailing Reed and were watching Friday as he boarded a St. Louis-bound Amtrak train that left Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.
But instead of riding to St. Louis, Reed got off at the first stop in the Kansas City suburb of Independence, Missouri, the FBI said. Officers conducting surveillance from aboard the train arrested Reed as he boarded a bus. He was allegedly carrying a .40-caliber handgun that investigators believe he used in the St. Louis-area shootings.
During an interview with police, Reed denied that he hurt anyone, according to the affidavit.
Investigators haven’t ruled out the possibility that Reed committed additional crimes. St. Louis County Lt. Craig Longworth said there was no known connection between the victims.
“These seemed to be random acts,” he said.
Reed has connections to the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.
He began living with a cousin in St. Louis County in 2004 when he was 8 years old, and she later became his legal guardian when his parents were deemed “unwilling, unable and unfit” to care for him, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He was charged with misdemeanor assault in St. Louis County in 2019, though that case hasn't gone to trial. He had no known history of felony charges.
Reed married in Jackson County, which includes some of Kansas City, Missouri, in June of 2019. His wife filed for divorce in July and a hearing in the divorce case is scheduled for Dec. 2.
The Wyandotte County district attorney’s office was awaiting a police report before it would consider charges against Reed, a spokesman said Tuesday.