Suspect Faces New Slay Charges
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ A man police believe was a serial killer of prostitutes will be charged this week in nine slayings, plus one attack in which the victim survived, authorities said Tuesday.
Robert Lee Yates Jr. had been charged only with a single count of first-degree murder in the 1997 slaying of a 16-year-old runaway.
Tuesday’s statement was the first indication that officers had identified a survivor in an attack allegedly involving Yates. Sheriff’s spokesman Dave Reagan said the survivor was female, but he declined to provide any other details.
Since the April 18 arrest of Yates, a 47-year-old married father of five, sheriff’s officers have said they believed he was the serial killer who preyed on prostitutes in Spokane and Tacoma in the late 1990s and could be responsible for more than a dozen slayings. Investigators have said DNA and other evidence tie Yates to the Spokane and Tacoma killings.
Yates’ court-appointed public defender, Richard Fasy, has declined to comment on the possibility of further charges.
Meanwhile, police in Germany are investigating whether Yates might be involved in the deaths of as many as 26 women in that country, FBI Agent Norm Brown said.
Yates served two tours of duty in Germany with the Army, and German authorities are especially interested in any evidence found in a 1988 Chevrolet van that Yates had shipped to Germany. Spokane authorities have the van and are searching it for evidence.
Yates is being held in the Spokane County Jail on $1.5 million bail.