"Screams heard before woman’s body found at Burlington hotel" by Travis Andersen Globe Staff July 02, 2015
BURLINGTON — Guests at a hotel here heard a woman’s anguished cries early Thursday before she was apparently shot to death inside one of the rooms, officials said.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan said during a briefing that was held outside the Extended Stay America hotel on South Avenue that staff called police around 12:20 a.m., after guests reported hearing a woman scream, as well as “what sounded like a gunshot.”
Burlington police conducted a room-to-room search of the hotel and found a deceased woman in a room, Ryan said. She said officials have not yet identified the woman, and she did not provide her estimated age or say where in the building police discovered her body or if she was a guest.
In addition, Ryan said, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner would determine the official cause of death. She did not say whether the woman showed obvious signs of a gunshot wound or any other trauma.
But the district attorney did say, “It appears to be a homicide at this point.”
She said she had no suspect description or any information about a vehicle that may be tied to the incident.
“We may at some point have information about that,” Ryan said.
She also declined to comment when asked about reports that the woman may have met her assailant on the Internet.
Asked if the public should worry about the prospect of a killer at large, Ryan offered a measured response.
“We have a deceased female, and we are making efforts to resolve what happened and take appropriate action,” she said.
Ryan said investigators are reviewing hotel surveillance footage and also checking to see if any witnesses inside the facility may have useful information.
“It’s a fairly large facility,” Ryan said. “That’s what we’re working on right now.”
A Burlington police spokesman referred questions to Ryan’s office.
A guest staying on the first floor of the hotel, Bobby Dingess, 29, of West Virginia, said he was watching television in his room when he heard a gunshot.
He went outside but saw no one.
“The cops came up, they thought I was the guy or something,” Dingess said. “Finally they figured out that I wasn’t.”
Dingess said he would like to learn more about what happened, but he is not overly concerned about his safety in the aftermath of the apparent shooting.
“I’m from West Virginia,” he said. “I can hold my own.”
But another guest, Lee Zee, said she was checking out because the hotel staff had not been forthcoming about what happened.
“If you can’t answer my questions, then I don’t feel safe,” she said.
Freddy Nzekele, 19, of Washington, D.C., is also a guest at the facility. He said in the parking lot that he saw police activity when he entered the building later on Thursday morning, and he was unsettled by the news.
“Just a little bit,” he said. “The fact that they haven’t said anything.”
Asked if he felt apprehensive about returning to the hotel Thursday night, Mzekele said, “Not really. Not yet, at least.”
A spokesperson for Extended Stay America, which runs more than 600 hotels across the United States and Canada, could not be reached for comment.
"2 men charged in Burlington hotel killing" by Peter Schworm Globe Staff July 06, 2015
WOBURN — The two men had already robbed one escort at gunpoint, prosecutors said, and had arranged to meet a second, just a few miles away.
Shortly after midnight Thursday morning, they arrived at the Extended Stay America, a hotel just off Route 128 near the Burlington Mall. In a matter of minutes, authorities said, the men robbed and shot a 34-year-old woman at close range in the chest, leaving her dead in her hotel room.
On Monday, the suspects were identified as Epshod Jeune, 24, of Burlington and Derrell Fisher, 21, of Roxbury, and arraigned on murder charges. Prosecutors said the two men arranged to meet the victim, Sanisha Johnson, through backpage.com, an ad listing service with an adult classified section, with plans to rob her, just 20 minutes after robbing another escort in Woburn.
The men carried out a “joint venture to rob escorts at gunpoint,’’ Middlesex prosecutor Adrienne Lynch said in court, where Jeune and Fisher were ordered held without bail.
Both men pleaded not guilty. On the courthouse steps, Jeune’s lawyer said he planned to take a close look at the allegations.
“We’re going to do our own independent investigation,” Robert Sinsheimer told reporters. “We will leave no stone unturned.”
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said authorities are concerned that the men may have carried out similar robberies, and urged those with pertinent information to notify authorities.
Prosecutors said surveillance video footage and phone calls and text messages with Johnson linked the men to the crime, and that a third person was driving the getaway car....
Related: No Mark Down on My Boston Globe
Maybe I can put it on Craigslist.
"After slaying, Backpage.com urged to drop ‘adult’ section" by Katherine Landergan Globe Correspondent July 07, 2015
Attorney General Maura Healey called on Backpage.com to shut down its “adult” section after two men allegedly killed an escort in Burlington whom they had met through the website.
Healey said in a statement Tuesday that most of the human-trafficking cases her office has prosecuted involve advertisements on Backpage.com. Eliminating the section is a “long overdue step,” she said.
Meaning the federal government and the NSA have known about it for a long time.
The Globe reported on Monday that shortly after midnight Thursday morning, two men arrived at the Extended Stay America hotel just off Route 128 near the Burlington Mall, and within a matter of minutes, authorities said, they had robbed and shot a 34-year-old Sanisha Johnson at close range in the chest, leaving her dead in her hotel room.
Just 20 minutes earlier, they had allegedly robbed an escort in Woburn, authorities said.
Epshod Jeune, 24, of Burlington, and Derrell Fisher, 21, of Roxbury, were arraigned on murder charges Monday. The men carried out a “joint venture to rob escorts at gunpoint,’’ Middlesex prosecutor Adrienne Lynch said in court, where Jeune and Fisher were ordered held without bail.
Both men pleaded not guilty.
“As we have seen through our office’s work, Backpage.com and the Internet have become increasingly popular vehicles for commercial sexual exploitation,” Healey said in her statement released Tuesday.
“It is clear that Backpage must do more to end the kind of exploitation that is advertised every day on its site.”