- Associated Press - Thursday, December 12, 2019

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Police say a man suspected of killing a Tennessee counselor is not believed to be involved in a similar stabbing at another mental health facility.

Police in West Tennessee have been investigating whether 31-year-old Brian Dewayne Conley stabbed a woman outside a Millington facility in October, The Tennessean reports. He was arrested this month and charged in the death of Melissa Hamilton, 50, who was sexually assaulted and repeatedly stabbed at Crossroads Counseling in Nashville.

Surveillance video shows him entering the business just as Hamilton was ending a group counseling session, police said. The two briefly interacted before the center’s lights went out and Conley was seen leaving through a rear exit, they said. She was found dead the next morning.

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In the October stabbing, the woman was just arriving to Professional Care Services when she was attacked. She survived and was able to provide enough details for a composite sketch, police said.

Millington Police Chief Mark Dunbar said the circumstances of both attacks were similar. The fact that Conley has a violent criminal history and is from the Shelby County area also played a role in their department investigating a potential link, he said.

“This was a brutal attack that the victim was fortunate to survive,” Dunbar said Wednesday. “The motive for the attack is unknown; however, our investigation at this point leads us to believe it may be a mental consumer.”

Authorities are asking for help from the public in the earlier case, Dunbar said.

Conley remained jailed in Nashville without bond on Wednesday.

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