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A daughter’s desperate search for answers after mother's murder

Posted at 4:39 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:26:10-04

LORAIN, Ohio — Samuel Little admitted to killing 93 women. The FBI believes he is the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history. Elizabeth Travis was watching a documentary about Little, who grew up in Lorain.

She had no idea it would lead her on a mission to solve a mystery that has haunted her for years.

“The story he told about the young lady he picked up in Cleveland and threw her body out on the side of the road, is the same story I’ve been hearing all my life,” said Travis.

It was New Year’s Eve 1987, Lawana Alexander, Travis’ mother, was at a Cleveland bar. Hours later, on New Year’s Day 1988, she was found in the middle of the southbound lanes of Interstate 77 in Copley Township.

“What I was told was she was a drug addict and prostitute,” Travis said. “She was doing what she was doing and found herself in the wrong car."

After watching the documentary Travis made a startling discovery.

“I go to the FBI’s website, I’m looking at all these photos,” she said.

Travis said one of the pictures bears a striking resemblance to her mother.

The sketches on the website were drawn by Little and are of the women he admitted to killing.

“Some people have recognized family members from the sketches,” said FBI Special Agent Vicki Anderson. Travis is confident the sketch is that of her mother.

“It does seem like it has a very strong resemblance to the picture he drew, “ said Anderson.

Travis said she contacted the national hotline for the FBI and filled out the proper forms on the website. The FBI is looking into the case.

She was raised by a great aunt in New York. Just recently, she moved to Cleveland to be closer to her mother’s family but is no closer to finding answers.

Travis is heartbroken but determined to find answers. She wants a meeting with Little himself.

“Just sit and bring my picture. We don’t have much to talk about a simple question, is this her,” said Travis.

Little admitted to killing 93 women. Law enforcement has been able to verify between 50 and 60 so far.

“We are in the process of reviewing the facts and circumstances regarding the incident involving Lawana Alexander on 1/1/88 and have reached out to the Detective who investigated the matter,” said Copley police Det. Sgt. Mike Yovanno.

The original detective on the case retired.