Dallas police say they have arrested a suspect for the murder of Muhlaysia Booker, a transgender woman whose death made national headlines last month.
Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, is charged with Booker’s murder and two other killings. He is also a person of interest in the murder of another transgender woman, Chynal Lindsey. Police did not offer a motive during a surprise press conference Wednesday evening.
Lyles has been in custody since June 5, police said.
He was arrested for the May 22 murder of a woman after a tip. Detectives were given additional information by a witness, providing details police said were only known to Lyles. Police said the information was corroborated by phone records between Lyles and the female victim.
The following day, a woman told police she and Lyles drove in his car to meet a man for a “drug transaction.” Lyles allegedly shot the man as he approached the car and he later died.
Detectives working that case realized Lyles’ car—a light-colored Lincoln LS—matched the description of the vehicle that picked up Booker at an intersection on the city’s southeast side before she was killed.
Police said Lyles’ cellphone showed him frequenting that intersection, including when Booker was picked up there. Police said Lyles’ phone also put him in the vicinity of where Booker was killed.
On June 1, Lindsey’s body was found floating in a lake about five miles north of where Booker was discovered. Authorities have ruled her death a homicide, and police said they are eyeing him in her murder.
Booker and Lindsey’s deaths were part of a string of deadly attacks on transgender women in Dallas in the past year. In October 2018, Brittany White was found shot to death in a car that someone had been in with her not far from the same intersection where Booker was picked up.
In April 2019, a transgender woman who had gotten into a car with someone was attacked, police previously said, just a few minutes’ walk from the intersection. She survived being stabbed multiple times and provided police with a description of her attacker: a black male in a silver or gray car.
Police did not link Lyles to the other attacks but said they continue to investigate.
Police told The Daily Beast on Monday that have an open investigation into the undetermined death of Armani Morgan, a transgender woman whose body was found in 2017.