Double Murder Suspect Charged With Killing Third Woman –

January 26, 2012 by staff 

Double Murder Suspect Charged With Killing Third Woman –, A Gaston County man already accused in two separate murder cases was charged in a third while making his first court appearance Monday.

A judge did not set bond on 47-year-old Danny Hembree, who is charged with killing 17-year-old Heather Catterton and 30-year-old Randi Saldana. Police say he killed the women at his home in Gastonia then dumped their bodies in South Carolina.

One family member told News 14 Carolina that Catterton used to date Hembree.

While in court, Hembree was served with another count of murder in a case from 1992. Police now say he and 41-year-old James Swanson killed Deborah Ratchford.

Authorities say the investigations into the deaths of Catterton and Saldana led them to connect Hembree to the Ratchford cold case as the manner in which the bodies were dumped is similar.

Ratchford was found on the edge of a cemetery, near some brush, with multiple cuts to her upper chest and neck. Police say Ratchford knew Hembree and Swanson, but didn’t know Saldana.

Meanwhile, Hembree is also charged by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police with one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon, while other charges may be coming.

Police believe Hembree was the man seen in a surveillance photo robbing an IHOP on South Tryon Street last week, and they also think he robbed a Spring Hill Suites Hotel on Scott Futrell Drive.

Hembree is currently in the Gaston County Jail with no bond on the murder charges. Police say they believe the three murders are isolated events, but they are looking closer at other murders that could possibly involve Hembree.

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