A man was arrested over the weekend in connection with five cold case murders, Philadelphia police said.
29-year-old Michael Blackston of Philadelphia’s Tioga-Nicetown section had allegedly committed the murders between 2011 and 2017. Police informed that they have solved the cold case murders after arresting him on Saturday.
“My office has filed homicide and other charges against Michael Blackston for his role in the murders of five individuals from 2011 through 2017,” District Attorney Larry Krasner told FOX 29.
His arrest was made at Philadelphia police headquarters Saturday night under five counts of murder charges, as well as gun violence and other crimes. Blackston was already set to face a trial for his role in a December 2011 murder next year. He was arrested in September 2018 in connection with the murder and remained in jail without bail since, WCAU-TV reported.
Blackston first shot and killed Saleem Garland, 26, inside a car in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia in June 2011, according to FOX29. He then shot 22-year-old Gary Wilson dead in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia.
Weeks later, in July 2011, Blackstone allegedly shot Kristin Freemon, 22, multiple times in East Germantown resulting in his death the following day.
He then reportedly shot dead Branden Vincent, 20, in East Germantown in 2017 and went on to kill Michael Cousette, also 20, in North Philadelphia in the same manner.
Detectives haven’t yet revealed what led to the identification of Blackston as a murderer in the five cases and whether he used the same weapon in each murder. However, it is a huge relief for the mourning families of the victims who now know the name and face of the killer of their loved ones.
“It’s a sense of relief, but I still can’t get him back, and my son doesn’t have a dad,” Naadirah Fate, girlfriend and mother of Michael Cousette’s child, said.
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