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Four new murder indictments for suspected serial killer give victim’s family validation

By ANDREA LUCIA

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    MCKINNEY, Texas (KTVT) — A Collin County grand jury Tuesday slapped suspected serial killer Billy Chemirmir with four new capital murder indictments. This brings the total number of counts against him to 24, including 22 charges for murder and two for attempted murder.

The latest indictments include the name of one victim never before made public, 82-year-old Helen Lee, who died in September of 2017 at the Parkview senior living center in Frisco. She’s one of three women Chemirmir is accused of killing there on separate occasions.

The other victims named in the new indictments are Diane Delahunty, Mamie Dell Miya, and Marilyn Bixler.

“Four capital murder indictments, babe!” announced Bixler’s daughter, Cheryl Pangburn, as she embraced her husband, after receiving news of the grand jury’s decision.

Her mother died in September of 2017, but it wasn’t until the following year Pangburn learned police suspected she might have been murdered.

Chemirmir had previously been indicted for the murders of 18 women, but for Cheryl, who’s worked to piece together what happened to her mother, those charges weren’t enough.

“I think it’s the most fight, effort, prayer, persistence that I’ve ever put into anything that I’ve actually seen it come to fruition,” she said.

Pangburn has repeatedly reached out to Frisco police over the years, pressing for progress in their investigation. Along the way, she says, she became an advocate for not just her mother’s case, but those of the other Collin County victims who had yet to be indicted.

“It just took the persistence to finally get our mom’s stories in front of the right people,” said Pangburn.

Her push prompted police and prosecutors to pursue and win the additional indictments Tuesday morning.

“The end result is that we have four indictments today and not just one,” she said.

Pangburn has long felt her mother’s death was left unacknowledged in the tally of murder cases against Chemirmir.

“Oh my god, we can say 22 now,” gasped Pangburn. “No more of this 18!”

“Welcome to the club nobody wants to be a part of,” responded Shannon Dion, the daughter of Doris Gleason, another of Chemirmir’s suspected victims.

Dion arrived at Pangburn’s home Tuesday morning and was there grasping her hand as she took the call from the courthouse.

Loren Adair-Smith and Karen Harris, whose mothers were also murdered, followed soon after, wrapping her in hugs.

The three had all previously seen Chemirmir indicted for their mothers’ cases, but they said they wanted to be present to support Pangburn.

“It’s a recognition she’s not alone,” said Dion. “I know, she has her family, but this is a unique bond we all share.”

Their families have both mourned and celebrated together.

Two months ago, they held hands and prayed with other victims’ families, ending with a loud ‘Amen’ that could be heard in the nearby hallway, after a Dallas County jury handed down Chemirmir’s first murder conviction in the case of Lu Thi Harris.

Chemirmir was sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole.

He’s scheduled to stand trial again in Dallas County this October for the murder of Mary Brooks.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office has said it aims to secure two life sentences against him to ensure he’ll never again be free.

The Collin County District Attorney’s Office has not commented on whether it intends to take its cases to trial. It could choose to pursue what Dallas County has not – the death penalty.

Pangburn knows there’s no guarantee her mother’s case will ever be tried.

For her, though, the indictments validate what she says she’s long known.

“The evidence has been there all along,” she said.

It’s an acknowledgement, she says, of four women whose lives mattered.

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