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Killings of two women in Sarasota believed to be connected, police say

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SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — The deaths of two women found on the same road in Sarasota are believed to be connected, according to Sarasota police.

Saturday, officers announced that William Devonshire, 52, of Sarasota was charged with homicide for allegedly killing 48-year-old Kellian Ripley.

Ripley was found dead in February on North Tamiami Trail, near the Centennial Park boat ramp. A medical examiner determined that Ripley was killed by blunt force trauma and manual strangulation.

Interim Chief Rex Troche said a voluntary DNA swab from Devonshire matched samples collected from Ripley’s body.

“This case was solved using science and technology, but it was also solved thanks to the non-stop dedication and hard work of Sarasota police officers and detectives,” Troche said.

William Devonshire, 52, of Sarasota (Sarasota County Jail)

The interim chief said it not known what would have motivated Devonshire to kill Ripley.

The suspect is also believed to be connected to a March 10 homicide of a 59-year-old woman who was also found on North Tamiami Trail, according to police. Troche said there were correlations between Ripley and the second woman’s death.

“He is considered a strong suspect because there are elements of the one homicide that match the second homicide so without going into detail, there is a correlation, a very strong correlation,” said Interim Chief Troche.

Troche said police and other agencies are looking to see whether Devonshire is linked to any other deaths in the area.

The 52-year-old was well-known among the homeless population in Sarasota. Tina Rosario says she’s known him for many years.

“To know that somebody in your community could be capable of something like this, it is horrifying,” said Tina Rosario.

Devonshire was charged with homicide, trespassing, possession of cocaine, and possession of paraphernalia. According to police, he was convicted in 2005 for a murder in Delaware.

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