A West Virginia woman who killed a man after he attacked her may have slain a serial killer. The man, identified as Neal Falls, 45, may have links to several missing women in southern Ohio and Nevada, the Associated Press reported.
Falls likely attacked other people before he beat a woman he met through classifieds website Backpage.com, Charleston police spokesman Steve Cooper said Friday, according to the AP. However, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported police haven’t found a criminal history tied to Falls, a former security guard from Springfield, Oregon.
Falls attacked the woman at a Charleston home July 18 and after a struggle, the woman grabbed his handgun and shot him. Police later retrieved several weapons and items from his vehicle, including knives, axes, shovels, handcuffs, a machete, a pair of boots and a bulletproof vest.
The woman’s name was not released, and police said the shooting was in self defense.
Police are currently investigating as to whether or not Falls is connected to six women who went missing in about a year in Chillicothe, Ohio, CNN reported. Four of those women were later found dead.
The Huffington Post reported Charleston police are looking into a possible connection between Falls and several women who vanished from 2003 to 2006. He lived in Henderson, Nevada, 16 miles from Las Vegas a decade ago, around the same time the women disappeared. Charleston police shared the case file with Las Vegas police to assist with the investigation, WSAZ, Savannah, Georgia, reported.
The whereabouts of one of the women, Lindsay Marie Harris, 22, remained unknown until 2008 when police matched her DNA to dismembered remains found in 2005 in Divernon, Illinois. The women were working as escorts in Las Vegas at the times of their disappearances.
Charleston police have also reached out to the FBI regarding the case.