A handyman for a low-income housing complex for seniors in New York City has been arrested for the suspected serial killings of three elderly women. Authorities said the handyman lived in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) building and took advantage of his friendship with these women before carrying out the brutal killings, which included stabbing, bludgeoning and strangulation by telephone cord.
Kevin Gavin, 66, of Brooklyn, was taken into custody Thursday and charged with three counts of second degree murder. He allegedly admitted to the killings, and claimed his victims didn’t pay him for his services, the New York Post reported.
“I’m heartbroken. My mother was brutally murdered,” Steven Caballero, the son of Gavin’s latest victim, told reporters. “It’s still fresh, I can never get the vision of seeing my mother out of my eyes.”
His mom, 78-year-old Juanita Caballero, was found strangled to death with a telephone cord in the hallway outside of her apartment in the Carter G. Woodson Senior Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn, ABC7 reported.
Caballero said he was the one who found her body, and unsuccessfully tried to perform CPR, according to authorities.
She was the latest victim in Gavin’s alleged string of killings, authorities said.
In May 2019, 83-year-old Jacolia James was discovered dead in her apartment with wounds to the head and trauma to the body. Authorities believe she was bludgeoned to death.
“We don’t know whose grandmother or grandfather could be next,” her grandson Lamarr Crafton said at the time, according to the New York Post.
Gavin had already been identified as a possible suspect then, after finding forensic evidence linking him to the killing, the Wall Street Journal reported. However, he was not charged due to lack of evidence, ABC7 reported.
At the time, he was also identified as possibly connected to the 2015 murder of 82-year-old Myrtle McKinney, who was discovered dead on her kitchen floor, according to ABC7. Her death was originally believed to be of natural causes until the medical examiner found a stab wound in her neck. She also suffered broken ribs.
“I’m confident that the defendant took advantage of his relationship with these women, was allowed into their homes and did unspeakable acts of violence against then,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez told said during a press conference.
He was known around the building for helping elderly tenants with errands, NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said.
Gavin had moved into his brother’s unit of the complex after his death in April 2020, according to ABC7, but it is not clear why he was allowed to move in as apartment leases under NYCHA are not always transferable.
Inside Edition Digital was not able to reach him or his lawyer for comment.