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‘Serial killer’ trucker suspected in 5 murders, arrested at truck stop last month

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Robert Rembert Jr.Robert Rembert Jr.

An Ohio trucker was charged Tuesday, Oct. 13, by a grand jury in an indictment that included 25 charges including murder, kidnapping, rape and more, with prosecutors calling the man “a serial killer” who’s allegedly murdered at least five people since 1997.

He was arrested coming from the showers at a Pilot Flying J in Seville, Ohio, on Sept. 21.

Robert Rembert Jr., 45, has been charged with allegedly killing Rena Mae Payne in May 1997, Kimberly D. Hall in June 2015 and Jerry Rembert and Morgan Nietzel in September 2015.

The indictment included charges of 10 counts of aggravated murder, six counts of kidnapping, four counts of rape, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count each of having weapons under disability, grand theft and gross abuse of a corpse.

Robert Rembert was convicted in 1998 of voluntary manslaughter for the Dec. 23, 1997, murder of Dadren Lewis in a Cleveland parking lot. He was sentenced to six years in prison following the conviction before being released.

He was arrested Sept. 21 in Medina County, Ohio, on a warrant for the murder of Hall, and has since been held in the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, jail on a $1 million bond, according to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty.

“Robert Rembert is a serial killer. So far, we know he’s purposefully executed five people,” McGinty said. “An investigation of his activities as an over-the-road truck driver is currently underway.”

The first murder alleged in the indictment took place in May 1997. The victim, Payne, was a 47-year-old Cleveland woman whose strangled and beaten body was found May 15, 1997. She was discovered by a Regional Transit Authority bus driver in an employee restroom at a bus turnaround. According to McGinty, DNA evidence recovered from Payne’s body was matched to Rembert, who was an RTA driver at that time.

On June 10, 2015, the body of Hall, 31, of Cleveland, was found strangled, beaten and raped similarly to the Payne murder, and DNA evidence was also tracked back to Rembert. Additionally, the indictment alleges the last calls made and received on Hall’s cell phone were to Rembert.

On Sept. 20, Nietzel, 26, and Jerry Rembert, 52, were found dead with gunshot wounds to their heads in their home. Robert Rembert had been living in the house with them, according to the indictment. Jerry Rembert was Robert’s cousin. Nietzel’s vehicle was missing from the house when police investigated, the indictment states.

The following day, Rembert was arrested. He had been driving Nietzel’s red Saturn Vue, according to the indictment.

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