Police, community members still looking for answers in Falls murder

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Just over a day and a half after the body of Terri Bills, 46, was found inside a vacant house on Willow Avenue, police are still on the scene investigating. A memorial with candles and a cross has been placed at the scene to honor the victim as everyone looks for answers.

Bills’ partially decomposed body was found in the vacant house Tuesday night, missing her head, her arms, and her feet.

This case is strikingly similar to another unsolved murder here in Niagara Falls. Loretta Gates was killed and dismembered just like Bills was. And coincidentally, Bills was Gates’ aunt through marriage, but the two looked so much alike in photos, they could almost be sisters.

And family members say they ran in the same crowds, both having been involved in prostitution and drug use in the past.

“The thing is it’s like my cousin Loretta, when she started to clean up, that’s when it happened. Terri was starting to clean up this is when it happened,” said Richard Mattoon Jr., Terri Bills’ stepson. “I do believe they are probably connected.”

While police say it’s too early to come to any conclusions like that, a lot of people in this community see a connection between the two murders. “I believe this is the same person that they never caught,” said one Niagara Falls resident, Davon Handley.

For at least some people in Niagara Falls, the thought of having a serial killer in the community is actually less scary than the alternative, that there are two people here who could carry out such a vicious crime. “I think two different people would be worse instead of just one serial killer because you could catch one and one would still be here. regardless of the fact, there will still be bodies around,” said Niagara Falls resident Clyde Coleman III.

Police ask anyone with any information that might help them solve these cases to give them a call.

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