A murder suspect in New Jersey informed police during the enquiry that he killed 15 people in New Mexico, which also includes his estranged wife, as per the prosecutor in court on Friday.

The suspect, named Sean Lannon, is charged with beating Michael Dabkowski to death with a hammer in the victim’s house in East Greenwich Township, New Jersey, besides robbery and burglary. Lannon was arrested as a fugitive previously this month in Missouri.

Gloucester County prosecutor Alec Gutierrez informed the court during a probable cause hearing that, during police questioning after being read his rights, Lannon agreed killing of Dabkowski and 15 people in New Mexico, comprising his estranged wife, Jennifer.

“In this Mirandized statement, the defendant did admit to the instances in New Mexico that would be homicides in New Mexico,” said Gutierrez. “He admitted to the dismemberment of some of the individuals involved in those homicides. He admitted his efforts in an attempt to conceal evidence, I’ll put it, in those homicides. And he admitted to killing a total of 16 people.”

The Albuquerque Police Department earlier accepted it was going to question Lannon in connection with four mutilated bodies found on local airport property on March 5 — one of whom was Jennifer Lannon — however, no charges have been filed in that case.

As told by police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos to CNN, “The Albuquerque Police Department is focused on its investigation into the death of Randal Apostalon, who is believed to have been killed in Albuquerque. Our detectives are following up on several investigative leads and will be conducting additional interviews and search warrants.”

In Lannon’s hometown of Grants, New Mexico, the police division is probing the three other known victims’ deaths and has not filed charges.

In the Friday court hearing, Lannon appeared remotely but did not testify and was not asked to enter a petition.

His public defender, Frank Unger, opposed the insertion of information about the New Mexico confessions into the hearing but did not argue that Lannon had made the statements. Unger reasoned that the killing of Dabkowski in New Jersey could be a self-defence claim, as Lannon informed police he had been a victim of sexual abuse by Dabkowski for years. Lannon mentioned the hammer that was used to kill Dabkowski belonged to the victim and that Dabkowski pounced first.

Judge Mary Beth Kramer mentioned that the nature of Lannon’s charges and the fact that he was looked at as a deserter made him a severe flight risk. “I find that he is a danger to the community,” said Kramer, and passed orders for Lannon to be held without bail.