Stephanie Harrison, a California woman who went missing in August, could be the unidentified fourth victim of the alleged northern Virginia serial murderer who police are calling the “Shopping Cart Killer.” 

Last week, police accused 35-year-old Anthony Robinson of committing “at least” four killings in the Washington D.C. area since late summertime. Robinson was already charged with two murders when investigators said they found evidence tying him to two more. 

The remains of the latter two victims were discovered in such an advanced state of decay that officials said they were not immediately able to confirm their identities. 

But Bob Barnard, a crime reporter with local outlet Fox 5, said Monday that police think one of the unknown victims could be Stephanie Harrison, a 48-year-old from northern California woman who went missing in the region around the time that the murders began. 

Fairfax County authorities later confirmed they are traveling to California this week to collect DNA samples for comparison. Meanwhile, lawyers for the so-called Shopping Cart Killer declined to comment on the case Monday morning. 

Is Stephanie Harrison a Victim of the Shopping Cart Killer?

According to missing persons posters circulated by her family, Harrison traveled to the Washington D.C. area for a sightseeing tour of the nation’s capital over the summer. The 48-year-old was staying at the Moon Inn Motel in Alexandria, Virginia, when she last made contact with family members on Aug. 19. 

About a month later, police were searching near the same motel for missing 29-year-old Cheyenne Brown when they discovered two sets of badly decomposed remains in a “container” near a shopping cart. One of the victims was tentatively identified as Brown, pending the results of a full autopsy. 

The other victim could not be immediately identified last week, but detectives are beginning to believe it may be Harrison, according to local reports

Police believe Anthony Robinson is the Shopping Cart Killer, thought to be responsible for at least 4 murders in northern Virginia since August.
Police found this cart near two badly decomposed bodies in Alexandria, Virginia. Now, they believe one of the bodies may be Stephanie Harrison, a California woman missing in the area since August. Photo credit: Fairfax County Police

In missing persons posters circulated in Alexandria and on social media, Harrison’s family members said she suffered from schizophrenia, and may have been “vulnerable and gullible in her mental state” without her medication. 

Fairfax County police spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told WTOP that Harrison had not been officially reported missing in the area. Investigators only knew about her case from the posters hanging around town.

“When we found the body [believed to be Cheyenne Brown], we also found these random flyers on Route 1,” he said. “There’s no missing persons report for this woman in Fairfax County, Alexandria or Arlington. We did reach out to the Redding, California, police department after seeing this, and they do, in fact, have a report,” Guglielmi added. 

After verifying that Harrison stayed at the Moon Inn, Guglielmi said, the department arranged to obtain her DNA samples for comparison. 

“We’re going to fly out there to get a DNA sample, just to be sure,” the spokesperson said. “If it matches the DNA of the body recovered, we’ll have to work backward to figure out how they intersected.”

Stephanie Harrison, missing since August, could have been a victim of the Shopping Cart Killer.
Stephanie Harrison, missing since August, could have been a victim of the Shopping Cart Killer. Photo credit: Missing Posters Circulated by Family

Police: Shopping Cart Killer Could Have More Victims

As Breaking Daily News has previously reported, 35-year-old Anthony Robinson was charged with the murders of 54-year-old Elizabeth Redmond and 39-year-old Anita Laurie Smith, whose remains were found near a shopping center in Harrisonburg, Virginia in November

Surveillance video from nearby buildings allegedly showed Robinson hauling the bodies to the site in a shopping cart. 

Later, when Washington, D.C. authorities were searching Alexandria for Cheyenne Brown, they found a shopping cart near the two bodies behind the Moon Inn Motel. That discovery led investigators to link Robinson to the Alexandria murders, and also gave the accused serial killer his nickname. 

Though the fourth victim might soon be officially identified, police suspect there may be more. 

“We know he’s obviously traveled all the way down to Harrisonburg,” said Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis. “But where else has he been? Where else has he laid his head? Where else has he worked? Who does he know in all of the jurisdictions in between?”

Anthony Robinson, who police have dubbed the 'Shopping Cart Killer,' is accused of committing four murders in northern Viriginia since August. Stephanie Harrison, a California woman missing since Aug. 19, may be one of his alleged victims.
Anthony Robinson, who police have dubbed the ‘Shopping Cart Killer,’ is accused of committing four murders in northern Virginia since August. Stephanie Harrison, a California woman missing since Aug. 19, may be one of his alleged victims. Photo credit: Harrisonburg Police