Prostitutes found murdered in South Memphis cemetery

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The bodies of two women were dumped like trash last month within days of each other at Mt. Carmel Cemetery off Elvis Presley Boulevard.

"It's sad," said Robert Brown.

Brown knew 44-year-old Rhonda Wells, a known prostitute.  She lived with her grandmother in a now boarded-up house on Gaither Street.  Brown said a lot of people dropped by the day after Wells' body was discovered.

"I told my grandson to go over there and see what happened and he came back and said Rhonda got shot in the head," recalled Brown.

He said he was unaware of Wells' criminal history for working the streets.

"I just saw her in and out, in and out," said Brown.  "I did not know."

Jessica Lewis, 28, was a known prostitute as well and was the first to be found dead in the cemetery.  She also died from a gunshot wound.

While police refused to confirm any connection, they do not appear to be ruling out the possibility of a single killer.

A flyer posted at a nearby business states police are looking for a man in his early 20's.  The flyer features photos of both women and includes a note about the suspect possibly driving a Pontiac.

The stretch of Elvis Presley Boulevard near the cemetery is lined with low rate motels and is known for prostitution.  It may be an increasingly risky profession.

There was a third woman shot and killed on a street not far from the cemetery just weeks before the bodies were found.  That murder also remains under investigation.

Anyone with information should call Crime-Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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