On September 1, 1998, Kendall Francois was strangling an abducted prostitute when she became free and fled his home at 99 Fulton Avenue, a short walk from Vassar College. Later that afternoon, City of Poughkeepsie Police Detective Skip Mannain and Town of Poughkeepsie Police Detective Bob McCready were in their unmarked car preparing to hand out flyers asking the public for help in the Catina Newmaster disappearance. As the detectives pulled into the same gas station that Francois just left, Deborah Lownsdale came up to the car and told them that a woman, who was now walking away, said that she was just assaulted. The detectives quickly located the woman, who confirmed the attack. She was brought into the police station where she filed a complaint against Francois.
That same afternoon, the police returned to 99 Fulton Avenue to talk with Francois about this most recent attack. They asked him to come into the police department to discuss the report. He agreed and was taken to headquarters. Over the next several hours, Francois eventually made many admissions regarding the disappearance of the women. He was arrested and charged with a single count of murder in the death of Newmaster. A search warrant was drawn up and on September 2, 1998, shortly after midnight, a team of detectives, the district attorney, EMS crews, crime scene processors, and police officers searched Francois' home and discovered many bodies of his victims.
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