- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 3, 2002

RICHMOND Hours before taking his own life, the chief suspect in the slayings of three Spotsylvania County, Va., girls told his sister that he had killed someone and committed countless other crimes, an investigator said yesterday.
Richard Marc Evonitz, however, did not identify the victim or say when he supposedly killed that person, said Sheriff Leon Lott of Richland County, S.C.
"He told her he had done so many things he couldn't remember them all," Sheriff Lott said. "And the conversation was referring to crimes he had committed."
What type of crimes is not clear so far, Sheriff Lott said.
Mr. Evonitz has two sisters, one in South Carolina and one in Florida. Sheriff Lott declined to say which one talked with Mr. Evonitz, but said both sisters have been cooperating with police.
Sheriff Lott said Mr. Evonitz appeared to match the profile of a serial killer given what investigators know so far. Serial killers typically travel to many places, commit crimes in different places, consistently target the same type of victim, and keep notes and possibly trophies from their crimes.
A task force based out of Sheriff Lott's office is expanding the investigation to comb through Mr. Evonitz's life, finding out where he had lived and checking those areas for unsolved crimes.
"It's going to be a long, intense investigation, and we're going to work on it until we're confident there's nothing else," Sheriff Lott said.
Mr. Evonitz, 38, fatally shot himself Thursday after police tracked him to Sarasota, Fla. He had been suspected in the June 24 abduction and rape of a 15-year-old girl in Lexington, S.C.
A search of his apartment and car in Columbia, S.C., yielded possible links to the slayings of sisters Kristin and Kati Lisk, who were 15 and 12, respectively, when they were killed in 1997, and of Sofia Silva, who was 16 when she was killed in 1996.
Investigators say items found included a newspaper article about the May 1997 slayings of the Lisk sisters and handwritten notes that describe unnamed girls as "cuties" and suggest Mr. Evonitz mapped his way near the Lisk home.
A half-dozen members of a task force of sheriff's deputies, state police and FBI agents from Virginia helped collect about 200 pieces of evidence during the weekend and sent them to an FBI lab in the District, Sheriff Lott said. Samples of Mr. Evonitz's hair and blood also have been sent to the lab for testing.
Authorities in Virginia are hoping test results will match him to the Spotsylvania County crimes.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Lott said a lot of work lies ahead of his task force, which is made up of local FBI agents and two investigators from his office. They plan to interview Mr. Evonitz's relatives, friends, neighbors, teachers, co-workers and military contacts. The investigators also will work closely with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, which first connected Mr. Evonitz to the Spotsylvania cases.
"They'll develop a timeline, where he lived in the past, and what we'll do is try to compare those dates and times with unresolved cases in our databases," said Ben Ermini, director of the center's missing-children division.
Sheriff Lott said the task force also will send out a bulletin with information about Mr. Evonitz to law enforcement agencies nationwide.
In 1987, Mr. Evonitz was convicted of exposing himself to a teenage girl in Clay County, Fla., and was sentenced to three years of probation.


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