The Cleveland area has a serial killer on its hands. Truck driver Robert Rembert Jr. has five deaths to his name and prosecutors are looking into what he may have done while on the road.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty called Robert Rembert a serial killer, NBC News reported. He was indicted by a grand jury on Tuesday and now faces 25 felony charges. The office has not decided whether to pursue the death penalty, but hasn’t taken the option off the table.
“Robert Rembert is a serial killer. So far, we know he’s purposefully executed five people. An investigation of his activities as an over-the-road truck driver is currently underway.”
The indictment covers the aggravated murders of three people this year and another in May, 1997, WKYC added. Robert Rembert, 45, has already spent six years in prison for voluntary manslaughter in the 1997 shooting of a 24-year-old, named Dadren Lewis, in a parking lot.
According to Cleveland.com, Lewis walked into a police precinct, declared he’d been shot, then collapsed. At first, Robert Rembert was charged with murder, tampering with evidence, and falsification charges, the newspaper reported last month. He pleaded to the lesser charge in a plea deal.
The charges against the accused serial killer include 10 counts of aggravated murder, six of kidnapping, four of rape, two of aggravated robbery, and one count each of having weapons under disability, grand theft, and gross abuse of a corpse.
Behind these disturbing charges are four victims.
Robert Rembert was arrested at a truck stop on September 21 after emerging from the facility’s showers. The day before, he allegedly shot and killed his cousin, Jerry, 52, and longtime family friend, Morgan Nietzel, only 26. When he was apprehended, Robert was driving Morgan’s car, which he reportedly stole. He had been living with the pair and allegedly shot them both in the head.
Before his first court appearance in connection with the deaths of his cousin and family friend, police said that “some family issues” may have preceded the shooting.
In this more recent case, police took samples from Rembert, and this evidence tied him to other cases. These include the other deaths covered by the indictment, of two women who met similar ends. He was charged in connection with these deaths after he was arrested for the shooting of Rembert and Nietzel.
First, Robert’s DNA led them to a woman named Kimberly Hall; the samples matched those found in connection with her death. The Cleveland woman’s bruised body was found in an open field on June 10 of this year by two workers who were just passing by. She had been strangled, beaten, and raped. The last person she called — Robert Rembert.
Police also traced his DNA to the death of another woman, who was killed in much the same way as Hall. In May 1997, Rena May Payne, also from Cleveland, was found by a bus driver in a locked employee bathroom at a bus turnaround station. At the time, Robert Rembert was a bus driver for the city and would’ve had an access code to enter the bathroom.
He has been held on $1 million bond, and it’s not clear if the accused serial killer has an attorney. Ahead of his indictment by the grand jury, he hadn’t yet entered a plea deal in the new charges.
Though prosecutors haven’t hinted that Robert Rembert will be tied to more cases or that further charges are pending, their continued investigation into the man’s time as a truck driver indicates that it’s possible more cases could arise.
[Photo Courtesy Frank11 / Shutterstock]