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Miami Serial Killer Died in Plane Crash

Roberto Wagner Fernandes identified as murderer of 3 women
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2021 3:58 AM CDT
Miami Serial Killer Died in Plane Crash
This image provided by the Broward County, Fla., Sheriff's Office shows Roberto Wagner Fernandes, a Brazilian man who died in a plane crash in South America in 2005, who authorities say responsible for the slayings of three Florida women two decades ago.   (Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – Three women were killed in 2000 and 2001 in South Florida, and now their murderer has been identified—as a man who died in a plane crash 16 years ago. Police say Roberto Wagner Fernandes, a Brazilian citizen living in Miami at the time of Jessica Good's 2001 slaying, was quickly identified as a suspect, but he fled to Brazil. Authorities continued to investigate him, with the cooperation of Brazilian authorities, but when they flew to Brazil to collect DNA evidence from him, they discovered he had died in a plane crash while en route to Paraguay in 2005. A licensed pilot, he was fleeing Brazil at the time, the Sun Journal reports. Concerned he may have faked his own death, authorities ultimately had his body exhumed, and matched his DNA to Good's murder and two others, the New York Times reports.

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Back in 2011, DNA collected while investigating the murder of Good, 24, in Miami, was found to match DNA from the murders of Kimberly Dietz-Livesey, 35, and Sia Demas, 21, both of whom were killed in 2000 in Broward County. Authorities say Fernandes killed all three women, who had struggled with substance abuse and were working as prostitutes, but he could have also killed others—anyone with information has been asked to submit a tip to Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-8477 or online here. He was charged with murdering his wife in Brazil in 1996, but was ultimately acquitted on a claim of self-defense. Fingerprints taken during that investigation also matched fingerprints from the three Florida crime scenes. He was also suspected of violent crimes against prostitutes in Brazil, CBS Miami reports. (Read more Florida stories.)

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