Police say that Antonio Rodriguez, the alleged Kensington Strangler, confessed to three murders as well as other crimes after being arrested on Monday night.
DNA links the 22-year-old to three murders in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia, police said at a Monday night press conference.
During that press conference a 911 call came in saying that Rodriguez was on the 3300 block of Mutter Street in Kensington. An officer investigating saw Rodriguez heading into the back of a house. The person of interest then fled on foot but was caught nearby, police said.
Rodriguez and two other people inside the house were taken in for questioning.
Sources say that during the questioning, Rodriguez confessed to the December beating, rape and murder of Casey Mahoney and the November killings of Elaine Goldberg and Nicole Placentini, all murders linked to the strangler through DNA.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that he also confessed to other crimes.
"He spoke about others but we're not confident if those are actually homicides or just sexual assaults," said Ramsey.
Investigators in the Special Victims Unit are currently investigating those incidents.
As for the three confirmed murders, Ramsey is confident that justice will be served.
"Hopefully we'll get charges sometime today or tomorrow," said Ramsey. "We're working with the D.A.'s office on that."
Rodriguez is about 5-foot-9, 155 pounds with a large scar from his left ear to the middle of his throat with various tattoos including the name "Kiera" tattooed on his left arm and "Scorpio" tattooed on his right arm.
He is fluent in Spanish and English and has an arrest record. Rodriguez is homeless but frequents the Kensington area, police said.
Many Kensington residents who have seen Rodriguez in the neighborhood are shocked by his arrest.
"I would talk to the guy right there on the corner and he always smiled at me," said Ruth Quinones. "He didn't seem like a murderer."
Police zeroed in on Rodriguez after State Police told Philly detectives that his DNA matched the Kensington attacks.
It is unclear if the man seen in sketches who was believed to be the Kensington Strangler is Rodriguez.
"Let's get this psycho off the streets of Philadelphia," Mayor Nutter said on the day that Casey Mahoney's murder was linked to the two earlier strangulation.
On Monday police appeared closer to that goal.
"I'm glad that he's no longer going to get to enjoy himself and that now he begins to suffer," said Joe Goldberg, the father of Elaine Goldberg.
"I hope he suffers for a long time."
"I'm so happy... I'm just really really happy," said Nicole Piacentini's mother Christine after the arrest was made.
"An officer notified me and told me they were gonna get warrants for his arrest that they knew where he was and were just waiting to pick him up."
While authorities are confident that they have their man, its still not a complete guarantee.
There is still a $37,000 reward for information leading to the capture and prosecution of the Kensington Strangler. Anyone with info should call the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or 3335.
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