News & Politics

Virginia Police Say “the Shopping Cart Killer” Has Murdered at Least Four People

They are seeking information that could tie the alleged serial killer to more victims.

From left, Chief Kelley Warner of the Harrisonburg Police Department, Major Ed O'Connell of the Fairfax County Police Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics Bureau, and Chief Kevin Davis of the Fairfax County Police Department.

Police from Fairfax County and Harrisonburg, Virginia, announced Friday that they have an alleged serial killer in custody. The man who they are calling “the Shopping Cart Killer” is accused of murdering at least four victims, then disposing of their remains using a shopping cart.

Police identified the suspect as 35-year-old Anthony Robinson. Fairfax Police chief Kevin Davis said Robinson has “a remarkable absence of a criminal history.” Authorities describe him as “transient” but with known prior addresses in Prince George’s County, DC, and New York. They said he met all four victims through dating apps. “He prays on the weak, he prays on the vulnerable, and he does unspeakable things with his victims,” said Davis.

Two victims were discovered in a wooded area on December 15 near the 2400 block of Fairhaven Avenue in Alexandria. One has been tentatively identified via a distinctive tattoo as 29-year-old Cheyenne Brown. Video surveillance placed Brown with Robinson at the Huntington Metro stop on September 30, as well as the Moon Inn in the 6100 block of Richmond Highway. Brown’s remains and an unidentified second set of remains were found together in a large plastic container next to a shopping cart. Police said that blunt-force trauma is Robinson’s “M.O.”

Two other victims, 39-year-old Tonita Lorice Smith, and 54-year-old Allene Elizabeth “Beth” Redmon, were found in November in an open lot near a commercial area of Harrisonburg. “Both women were discovered within a short distance of each other,” said Harrisonburg police chief Kelly Warner, “although their deaths took place at two separate times.” As with the remains found in Fairfax County, there was also a shopping cart nearby.

Authorities have not ruled out that Robinson could have had an accomplice. They are seeking information from the public that could tie him to other crimes. “He’s killed four already, and we suspect that he has more victims,” said Davis, the Fairfax chief.

Robinson is currently being held at the Rockingham County jail in Virginia. Charges in Fairfax County are forthcoming.

Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 as a staff writer, and became a senior editor in 2014. She oversees the magazine’s real estate and home design coverage, and writes long-form feature stories. She was a 2020 Livingston Award finalist for her two-part investigation into a wrongful conviction stemming from a murder in rural Virginia.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.