Dallas police have arrested the man they think killed Muhlaysia Booker on May 18. Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, has been charged with murdering two additional, yet to be identified people in May as well.
DPD Maj. Max Geron said police began investigating Lyles after an anonymous tipster told Dallas cops that Lyles shot and killed a woman in Far North Dallas on May 22. The informant, Geron said, knew details about the shooting that only the murderer or someone who knew the murderer would have known.
As police investigated the May 22 killing, a witness told them that she'd been riding in Lyles' car on May 23 when he drove to meet someone to buy or sell drugs. When Lyles pulled up, the witness told police, he shot the person he was supposed to meet.
Police looking into the two shootings soon realized that Lyles' car was similar to the one Booker was seen getting into prior to her death.
Cops found Booker, 23, laying face down on Valley Glen Drive near Ferguson Road just before 7 a.m. May 18. Booker wasn't carrying ID, leading to a delay in her identification. Two days later, when police announced who she was, the uproar was immediate. Booker, who was transgender, had been the victim of brutal, videotaped assault less than a month before.
In the immediate aftermath of Booker's death, police announced that her killing might be connected to two recent violent attacks on women who, like Booker, were transgender. Police have not connected Lyles to those two killings, but Geron said Lyles was a person of interest in the death of 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey, who was found in White Rock Lake on June 1.
Lyles is in jail in Collin County, the county in which the first two alleged murders occurred.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.