Northland man charged in killings of 2 women - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

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Northland man charged in killings of 2 women

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Derek Richardson, 27, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abandonment of a corpse, authorities said at a news conference Saturday night. Derek Richardson, 27, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abandonment of a corpse, authorities said at a news conference Saturday night.
Police announced earlier this month that the deaths of Tamara Sparks and Nicoleone Reed were linked and asked the public for help. Police announced earlier this month that the deaths of Tamara Sparks and Nicoleone Reed were linked and asked the public for help.
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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A Northland man was arrested Saturday in the killings of two prostitutes whose bodies were found posed on the sides of rural Missouri roads nearly a year apart.

Derek Richardson, 27, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of abandonment of a corpse, authorities said at a news conference Saturday night.

"We absolutely stopped a person who was going to kill again," said Kansas City police Sgt. Doug Niemeier.

Richardson, a husband and father, was "infatuated with serial killers," court records state.

Police began trailing Richardson and arrested him late Saturday morning. Niemeier said Richardson confessed to the "intimate details of the crime" and that he didn't know the victims beforehand.

During six hours of questioning, Richardson told police he killed 40-year-old Tamara Sparks, and 24-year-old Nicholeone Reed, dumping their bodies and covering them with bleach to try to hide the evidence, authorities said.

Sparks was found dead Oct. 4, 2011, on the far northeast side of Kansas City, and Reed was found Aug. 21 in rural Kearney. Both bodies were in spots where they could easily be seen, with their pants pulled down and shirts pulled up. Police haven't released how either woman died.

Both women were last seen on St. John Avenue near Independence Avenue in northeast Kansas City, where they worked as prostitutes, police said.

But one clue left behind turned into a major key to crack the case.

Police announced earlier this month that the deaths of Sparks and Reed were linked and asked the public for help.

Detectives said they believed whoever was responsible for the deaths also was the person who lost a size 11, canvas, Crocs-brand shoe at the site where Sparks' body was found.

Niemeier said a tipster contacted police Thursday night because of the description of the shoe.

"Basically the tip was to say he was the one and the shoe was what really matched it," Niemeier said. "That shoe made a huge difference and it did seem to be a small item."

That witness also told police that Richardson bragged to him about killing a prostitute.

Court documents show Richardson said he choked the woman during a sex act, and that he did it at his home in Kansas City.

"It's just crazy to know it was happening on the other side of the wall, and we didn't have any idea about it," neighbor Matt Elwonger said.

Elwonger and his family said they never saw anything suspicious about Richardson, and they were friendly with him, his wife, and young child.

"They would sit outside and barbecue and just talk and have fun, like nothing ever seemed weird," Elwonger said.

The truth could have stayed hidden, and police, who worked non-stop this week are relieved.

"It feels good because you solved a crime, it feels good when you can tell a victim's family that their case has been resolved," Niemeier said.

Earlier this month, police said a third woman, who lived on the same street where Sparks and Reed were last seen, was found dumped in late 2011 along the side of a road in Caldwell County, southeast of Cameron. She survived. But authorities didn't say Saturday if her case was connected.

"We have a tremendous amount of follow-up to do now that we have answered some of our own questions," Niemeier said, adding that it "feels good when you can tell a victim's family that their case has been resolved."

Niemeier, added that authorities will search across the United States to ensure there weren't other victims.

"We do know that he had travels elsewhere," Niemeier said, "so we will be contacting those states just to make sure."

Richardson ‘s bail is set at $2 million. It wasn't immediately known whether he has an attorney.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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