Police, families recall chilling encounters with possible serial killer

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As the search for more victims of a possible a serial killer in Indiana continues, families who are missing loved ones begin to wonder how much the suspect, Darren Vann, still knows.

A Gary family came face-to-face with Vann as they searched for a missing woman and now wonder if he had the answers they were looking for all along.

They are heartbroken and now certain that a mother of five is among the three victims yet to be identified.

52-year-old Sonya Billingsley disappeared without a trace February 7th.

Her family went to police and went door-to-door. They searched abandoned houses and handed-out flyers all over the neighborhood. It is the same neighborhood where police have been finding victims of an apparent serial killer this week.

One of the residents they handed a flyer to, not once but twice, was Vann.

Billingsley daughter Samira believes Vann is responsible for her mother’s disappearance.

“One of my sisters said the second time they came in contact with him, he said he did know her. He saw her before,” she said.

And they're not the only ones who've had an encounter with the man investigators believe went on a killing spree on a scale they're just beginning to uncover.

One of Vann's many brushes with the law was with then-Gary police officer Joe Hamer in 2004. Hamer got the call when Vann doused himself and an ex-girlfriend in gasoline. Vann was holding a lighter and threatening to ignite them both.

Hamer handed his gun to a fellow officer to get in close and help make the arrest.

"I could still see it in his eyes that there was something not right,” he says.

Vann was charged with a felony in that case and given probation, which he violated.

In the Billingsley disappearance, family members are hoping the answers they've been yearning for will come soon. They plan reach out to police here again tomorrow.

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