UPDATE September 7, 2018:
A judge sentenced Kwauhuru Govan to 25 years to life for the kidnapping and murder of Sharabia Thomas, WPIX reports.
UPDATE August 21, 2018: Suspected serial killer Kwauhuru Govan was convicted Tuesday in the cold-case killing of 17-year-old Sharabia Thomas, who was on her way to a high school field trip in Brooklyn when she disappeared on a February morning in 2004, WPIX reports.
March 6, 2017
It was a gruesome New York City crime: A teen's body found dismembered and discarded in trash bags left in a subway tunnel. Years later police made an arrest.
As Crime Watch Daily affiliate PIX11 reports, investigators now believe they may have a suspected serial killer on their hands.
He's volatile, defiant -- a menace to the courtroom.
But is Kwauhuru Govan a vile serial killer who's left a trail of murderous mayhem?
The journey to justice began when Crime Watch Daily teamed up with veteran journalist Mary Murphy of our New York affiliate WPIX to investigate the 2006 high-profile murder of 16-year-old Brooklyn honor student Chanel Petro-Nixon, whose body was found in a trash bag on a Brooklyn street.
Veron Primus, a middle school classmate, was charged with Petro-Nixon's murder. He has not yet entered a plea.
After our story aired, a viewer called Mary Murphy. The woman said the Petro-Nixon case reminded her of an eerily similar Brooklyn case from 2004. The woman told Murphy about the murder of another young woman in 2004. She brought Murphy to an alley where 17-year-old Sharabia Thomas' body was found in two laundry bags -- another pretty young promising teenager murdered, stuffed in bags and dumped on the street. Could the killer be Veron Primus, the man charged in Petro-Nixon's murder?
Sharabia Thomas' 2004 murder was an NYPD cold case that unlike Petro-Nixon's case, got little or no media attention and was nowhere close to being solved. Murphy wasted no time getting on the phone with cops.
Acting on Murphy's information, New York cops took a fresh look at the now 12-year-old case. They reprocessed DNA taken from under Sharabia's fingernails and submitted it to a national database. It turns out there was a match, but not to Veron Primus.
Kwauhuru Govan was brought from Florida to New York to face murder charges in the death of Sharabia Thomas, whose grieving family was subjected to Govan's vitriol aimed at them. He proclaimed his innocence.
Things will only get worse for Govan. Cops had discovered that he once lived just two blocks from Sharabia in Brooklyn, so they began an investigation of other similar unsolved murders in the neighborhood, which leads us to 19-year-old Rashawn Brazell.
In 2005, Brazell had been murdered and dismembered. His torso, arms and legs were found in a bag at a Brooklyn subway station. Brazell lived just across the street from Govan in that same Brooklyn neighborhood. Police questioned Govan but weren't impressed by his answers. And cops say they now they've gathered enough evidence to charge him with the murder of Rashawn Brazell.
Police say they have strong suspicions that Govan is connection to at least two other cases.
Govan has pleaded not guilty to the murder of Sharabia Thomas, but he has not yet entered a plea in the case of Rashawn Brazell.