Samuel Little, a serial killer who has confessed to 90 murders throughout the United States in interviews with the FBI this year, told investigators he killed a woman and left her body in Dade County, Ga.
Little, 78, said he met the woman in Chattanooga. According to the FBI, she was black and 25-30 years old at the time, but she has not been identified.
Sheriff Ray Cross announced this evening that he will hold a press conference on this issue on Thursday.
According to a news release from the FBI on Tuesday, Little has been participating in interviews with two FBI agents and a Texas ranger since this spring. He has confessed to murders from across the country, with the time frame ranging from 1970 to 2005. Investigators have tried to match the information with unsolved killings and — in some cases — deaths that local police departments previously concluded were drug overdoses.
Little was living in a Kentucky homeless shelter in September 2012 when police arrested him on a drug charge out of Los Angeles. After officers extradited him to California, Los Angeles Police Department detectives said they matched his DNA to that of three victims in unsolved homicides between 1987-89.
Little was convicted in 2014 and received three life sentences.
According to the release, Little was also charged with killing women in Mississippi and Florida in the early 1980s. But he was never indicted in the Mississippi case, and he was not convicted in Florida.
After Los Angeles police received the DNA hit on Little, the agency asked the FBI's Violent Criminal Apprehension Program to work a full background check on him. They found a pattern that they believed linked him to other murders.
In the case in Los Angeles, investigators said Little beat and strangled the three women. He then dropped their bodies in an alley, a dumpster and a garage.
"We found a case out of Odessa, Texas, that sounded very much like him, and we could place him passing through the area around the same time," said ViCAP Crime Analyst Christina Palazzolo, who has worked the cases for the FBI.
Little is incarcerated in Wise County, Texas. Beginning this spring, he has talked about his killings with Palazzolo, Department of Justice Senior Policy Advisory and ViCAP Liaison Angela Williamson and Texas Ranger James Holland.
Including the woman in Dade County, Little has confessed to 90 killings. Of those, investigators have corroborated 34 deaths.
According to the FBI, Little followed a pattern. He targeted marginalized women – often prostitutes and drug addicts. He knocked them out cold with a punch and strangled them. Because the victims did not have stab marks or bullet wounds, investigators classified some of the deaths as drug overdoses or the result of natural causes.
Little vividly remembers the women and how he killed them, according to the FBI. But he cannot remember the dates specifically. Some of these deaths occurred before investigators widely used DNA evidence, further complicating the cases.
According to the FBI, he told them he met the woman in Chattanooga in 1980 or 1981. (The press release from the Dade County Sheriff's Office says the remains were found in 1981.)
In addition to Dade County, Little told investigators he killed three women in Atlanta. Their descriptions have not been matched to a listed death.
He also said he killed a woman in Macon, Georgia, in 1977. That woman's death has been matched, though she has not been identified.
He also confessed to killing a woman in Knoxville in 1975, though investigators have not matched that death to a body found.