GRPD: Missing convicted child rapist shot dead decades ago in Pennsylvania

GRAND RAPIDS (WOOD-AM) - Grand Rapids police say a man who was convicted of raping children in the 1960s and 1970s was shot and killed more than four decades ago in Pittsburgh by the brother of one of his victims.

Tommie Lee Hill changed his name after being released from an Indiana prison due to a paperwork error.

Erma Shaw says her stepfather impregnated her.

"When Erma was 12 years old, in 1978, she was the victim of a sex crime." Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Winstrom said.

"The fact that Tommie had gotten away for so many years, on my heart, I knew that if he was still alive, he would still be victimizing children," Shaw said.

Joe Garrett, a GRPD officer, said they caught a break with a genealogy trail that led them to Pittsburgh in April.

"(Hill) was shot in the back of the head, Dec. 4, 1983, by a man named Vernon Phipps after he touched Vernon's sister," Garrett said.

More at WOOD-TV.

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