Two similar Niagara Falls murders not connected


NIAGARA FALLS, NY (WIVB) More than a dozen family and extended family members rode a wave of mixed emotions at Niagara County Courthouse Tuesday morning when they saw, for the first time, the man accused of a 2015 murder of Terri Bills, but also learned that he could not be considered a suspect in a very similar murder of Loretta Gates in 2012.

“This arrest allows us to say for certain that we do not have a serial killer within our community,” said Caroline Wojtaszek, the district attorney in Niagara County. She said there is no way the man who appeared in court Tuesday for the murder of Terri Bills could have also killed Loretta Gates because he was in jail on a felony conviction in 2012 at the time she was found dismembered in Niagara Falls.

“We’re kind of shocked that it wasn’t related because of the way they were murdered, but it’s a start in the right direction,” said Arthur Gates, the father of Loretta Gates.

36-year-old Yasin Abdu Sabur pleaded not guilty to the murder of Terri Bills. Investigators say the break in this case came last April after he was charged with domestic violence in South Carolina. Information after that arrest led police to search his former residence on Pierce Avenue in the Falls last September.

Investigators believe Abdu Sabur killed Terri Bills there about ten days before her body was discovered in a vacant home two blocks away on Willow Avenue. “Based on some of the information that we were given, we went there looking for biological evidence. We did find some and that helped us in securing this indictment,” said Kelly Rizzo, chief of detectives for Niagara Falls Police.

One of Terri Bills’ son was in court to watch the arraignment, the other is serving in the US Army and couldn’t be there with the rest of the large family and extended family which now sees the start of closure in the Terri Bills case, but not the Loretta Gates case.

“My uncle’s not here no more to see this, but he’s still looking down on us,” said Joshua Highway, who is a family member of both victims. “But when I seen his face, (Abdu Sabur) I see the face of a killed. I don’t see a human being I didn’t see a man that’s remorseful, not even in the courtroom he didn’t look remorseful.”

Yasin Abdu Sabur is due back in Niagara County Court on March 16 for a pre-trial hearing.

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