Cellphone video led to murder charge in DeKalb woman’s death, police say

Mirsha Victor was found dead in Henry County.
Caption
Mirsha Victor was found dead in Henry County.

Credit: Family Photo

A man suspected of murder in the death of a DeKalb County woman was arrested after investigators viewed video taken from his cellphone, police said.

New details have emerged about the killing of 23-year-old Mirsha Victor, whose remains were found Tuesday in Henry County and later identified by the coroner. A second set of remains were found in the same area, also belonging to a woman, but they have not been positively identified.

Dennis Lane, 41, was arrested July 9, just one day after Victor was reported missing from the Panthersville area. Along with two other suspects, Cleounsee Fisher and Ronisha Preckwinkle, Lane is charged with murder, false imprisonment and tampering with evidence, jail records show.

Three suspects have been arrested in the death of Mirsha Victor: Dennis Lane (from left), Ronisha Preckwinkle and Cleounsee Fisher.
Caption
Three suspects have been arrested in the death of Mirsha Victor: Dennis Lane (from left), Ronisha Preckwinkle and Cleounsee Fisher.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Lane is also facing a charge of necrophilia related to video footage Henry County police said they found on his phone, according to an arrest warrant. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is not revealing some details from the warrant due to their graphic nature.

Henry County police became involved after Lane used Victor’s phone to call her mother July 9, asking her to meet him at his apartment on Hudson Bridge Terrace in Stockbridge. The woman brought along police reinforcements, the Henry agency said in an initial report.

While Lane was being detained in a patrol car, investigators noticed a mattress with possible bloodstains in a dumpster across the street from his apartment, the report said. Inside the apartment, they found “blood on the floor, in the bathroom, and a mattress missing,” a Henry officer said in the report.

Though Victor’s body had not been located at that time, the arrest warrant revealed that the woman appeared to be dead in a July 8 video investigators found on Lane’s phone. That video and other information gathered during the preliminary investigation allowed police to proceed with charges even before Tuesday’s grisly discovery.

Explore2 bodies found in Stockbridge could be linked to DeKalb woman’s death

Officials have not said what led them to the busy area near the intersection of Hudson Bridge Road and Oakwood Manor Drive, where the two women’s remains were discovered. Last week, police announced they had located Victor’s car, a black Ford Mustang convertible, but did not provide further details.

Victor’s mother, Marie Elien, told Channel 2 Action News that Lane worked with her daughter at a food processing plant, but said they were just friends.

“She was a very loving girl, fun, outgoing. Always complimented people, you know, anyone she met with,” Elien told the news station. “She was friendly. Not scared of adventure, of meeting new people.”

According to a police spokesman, investigators are following leads “for any potential additional victims.” Only two sets of human remains connected to the case had been found as of Friday, Capt. Randy Lee confirmed to the AJC. Another set of remains found in the Campground Road area earlier in the month is not related to the homicide investigation, he said.

Lane is registered as a sex offender and was convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault in Illinois, according to the GBI. The 1999 case involved the rape of a 10-year-old girl, Channel 2 Action News reported. After serving a 20-year sentence, Lane was released on parole in May 2019, Illinois court records show.

He has lived with Fisher, his brother, in the Stockbridge complex for about a year. In that time, police had been called to their home five times, according to Channel 2.

One of those calls, according to a police report obtained by the AJC, was June 21, 2020, in response to Fisher shooting and killing his adult nephew, Lane’s son. The shooting was preceded by an argument between Fisher and Travion Lane, who was wanted on a larceny charge in Illinois at the time and was considered armed and dangerous, the report said. Fisher and his brother allowed the younger Lane to keep guns hidden in a cable box behind their apartment, so Fisher knew that his nephew had easy access to weapons, police said.

In the course of the argument, Fisher went upstairs to get his own gun, according to the report. When he returned, he found Travion Lane “advancing aggressively toward him” with a kitchen knife, the report said. Fisher fired one round, hitting his nephew in the neck. The injury proved fatal, but investigators determined the shooting was in self-defense thanks to Travion Lane’s history of violent crime, possession of a deadly weapon and access to additional weapons nearby.

The warrants for Fisher and Preckwinkle, also obtained by the AJC, brought their suspected roles into focus. Police believe Fisher helped remove the bloodstained mattress from the apartment, according to the warrant for his arrest. Investigators also believe Preckwinkle was present at the apartment when the killing happened, and that she removed items from the home to her car after the incident, her warrant said.