February 20, 2004 - Posted at 4:11 p.m. CDT
MEMPHIS, TN - Law officers in four states are investigating whether the deaths of ten women across the south and southwest are linked to a serial killer.
Officials in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi suspect the killer may be a long-haul truck driver who is preying on women around truck stops. Investigators from several states are scheduled to meet in Oklahoma City next week to exchange information on a woman found dead in suburban Dallas. The killing of 19-year-old Casey Jo Pipestem of Oklahoma City is the most recent death to be linked to the case.
Meanwhile, it is believed the body of a Memphis woman found last summer in Crittenden County may also be a victim of the killer. The body of a woman identified as Margaret Gardner, 47, was found by a postal worker near an Interstate-40 exit ramp near Shearerville. An Arkansas State Police investigator told K8 News the woman had a past criminal record of prostitution, and was last seen alive at a West Memphis truck stop.
Most of the women found in Texas and Oklahoma are believed to have been prostitutes who were involved in drugs. They were all found nude and with no identification. Some were strangled and at least one was raped. In many cases, their bodies were dumped in rural areas, often thrown from bridges.