A cab driver stalked Jacksonville's streets, engaging in a two-month serial killing spree that left five young women strangled, Sheriff Nat Glover said Tuesday.
Two of the victims were pregnant, and in one case, young children were found crawling around their mother's deceased body.
Paul Durousseau, 32, was charged Tuesday with five counts of first-degree murder for the Dec. 19 to Feb. 5 killings. He is also suspected in another killing six years ago in Columbus, Ga. Authorities said DNA evidence, fiber analysis, cab records and cell phone calls linked Durousseau to the slayings.
Durousseau, a married father of at least two children, was arrested on the murder charges Tuesday afternoon at the Duval County Jail, where he had been held without bail since Feb. 6 for violating his probation on a sexual assault conviction. He was to have his first court appearance Wednesday on the new charges.
Glover said the killer used a "peculiar slipknot" on the ligature he used to strangle some of the victims. In one case, a coaxial cable was used; in another, an extension cord was used.
The sheriff said authorities spent the past few months piecing together the evidence with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Durousseau arrest in February -- the day after the last two victim's bodies were found -- was on unrelated charges. But police clearly wanted him off the streets.
"We made the arrest at that time feeling reasonably certain that he was the likely suspect in these homicides," Glover said. "We felt we needed to eliminate the continual threat to our community."
About 20 family members of the victims were invited to the news conference. One woman held an 8x10 picture of her daughter in her lap. Some began sobbing loudly when Glover read the details of their deaths. They left without commenting.
Durousseau's employer, Gator City Taxi and Shuttle, refused comment Tuesday.
The arrest was the talk of Durousseau's neighborhood late Tuesday. Most of his neighbors in the far north Jacksonville neighborhood described him as quiet person who kept to himself.
"I didn't think he was that kind of person," said Shawn Pickles, 18.
Another neighbor, Serena Humphrey, said she couldn't believe he was responsible for killings.
"I didn't think he would do something like that," she said. "Only God knows."
But Marie Thompson, 25, who lived two doors down, said she had known him for years and found him to be unsavory.
"He was just nasty. He did things to young girls he shouldn't do," she said.
No one answered the door at Durousseau's house, a one-story brick house in a neighborhood of houses and apartments.
The first Jacksonville victim was Nicole L. Williams, 18, who was found Dec. 19 in a ditch, wrapped in a blanket.
Two weeks later on New Year's night, Nikia Shanell Kilpatrick was discovered bound and strangled in her apartment. Police say Kilpatrick, who was 19 and pregnant, could have been dead two days. Her two small children were found unharmed in the apartment.
On Jan. 10, 20-year-old Shawanda Denise McCalister, who was also pregnant, was found bound and strangled in her apartment in the same neighborhood.