Booker's Father Says Recent Murder Victims ‘Hung Around Each Other'

Dallas police announced Wednesday the arrest of Kendrell Lyles in connection to Muhlaysia Booker's murder

Dallas police are still working to see if the man they arrested for the murder of Muhlaysia Booker can be connected to attacks on other transgender women. And Booker's father said he thinks his daughter and two other murder victims -- Leticia Grant and Chynal Lindsey -- could be connected.

Pierre Booker said he didn't know why the women were targeted, but said he's certain they were acquaintances.

"They all hung around each other. You know, they used to be on Swanson sometimes or whatever, they would come over to my house," he said. "They talked, laughed, giggled. That was just them."

He said that's the only connection, as far as he knows, and planned to leave the investigative work to detectives.

Police said a tip and information from a cell phone led them to arrest Kendrell Lyles, 33, in connection to Muhlaysia Booker's murder. The arrest offered a small amount of comfort to Booker's family.

"I'm so glad that they have them, I'm just so very glad that they have them," Booker's grandmother Debra Booker said. She said news of an arrest in the murder of her granddaughter was an answer to prayer.

"When I heard it yesterday, I screamed so loud when they told me, I said, 'Yes, yes, hallelujah!'" she said.

Booker said her family has been living a nightmare since the 23-year-old transgender woman was found dead in Dallas on May 18. On Wednesday, Dallas police confirmed they arrested the man they believe is responsible for her death, Lyles.

"That's why I prayed every day that they would find this person, I said, 'Lord please find them. I know it won't take the pain out of my heart right now, but it might help everybody feel better, my family, feel better about this," Debra Booker said.

Police got a tip from a witness who reported seeing Muhlaysia Booker get into a car that matches the description of Lyles' the night she was killed. Cell phone records prove Lyles was in possession of and used Booker's cell phone after her death.

As the investigation continues, Booker's family is hopeful that justice will be served.

"I hope that this will be justice for Muhlaysia and whoever else is involved. If there are more, I hope that they'll get them, too," Debra Booker said.

Kendrell Lyles is in custody in Collin County. Police said he was also being investigated as a person of interest in the murder of Lindsey, whose body was discovered in White Rock Lake on June 1.

Debra Booker said the transgender community is tight-knit and she believed that Muhlaysia and Chynal likely knew each other.

Pierre Booker did have one final word concerning Lyles.

"My message to the prosecutor – life sentence," Booker said. "And whenever that trial date comes, I'm going to be there."

NBC 5's Candace Sweat contributed to this report.

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