AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – The murder of a woman from Aurora by a suspected serial killer in Indiana may have helped investigators solve several other killings.

Afrikka Hardy, 19, attended community college in Denver. Her body was found in a Motel 6 in Hammond, Indiana. Police say what was left behind led investigators to their suspect, and he led them to six other bodies.

Afrikka Hardy (credit: Facebook)

Afrikka Hardy (credit: Facebook)

A second body was found in an abandoned home in Gary, Indiana. The coroner said family members identified her as 35-year-old Anith Jones of Merrillville, Indiana, who had been missing since Oct. 8.

Anith Jones and Afrikka Hardy (credit: Facebook)

Anith Jones and Afrikka Hardy (credit: Facebook)

CBS4’s Karen Morfitt talked with Hardy’s aunt who says her niece, a former student at Hinkley High School in Aurora, was a beautiful young woman and a talented singer who will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Hardy’s mother, Lori Townsend, shared dozens of heartbreaking messages about the loss of her daughter on a fundraising page. She says Afrikka was “the light of her life.”

Police say Hardy had arranged to meet someone at the Motel 6 in Hammond after meeting online.

“It’s our understanding that as a result of our investigation the two female adults were involved in a pay-for-service prostitution scheme that was being advertised on ChicagoBackPage.com,” Hammond Police Chief John Doughty said at a news conference.

After receiving suspicious text messages, one of Hardy’s friends went to the hotel room and found the teen had been strangled. Investigators say a phone number used to arrange the meeting led them to Darren Vann, 43, as their suspect.

Darren Vann (credit: Gary Police Department)

Darren Vann (credit: Gary Police Department)

“During a subsequent interrogation of Mr. Vann he admitted his involvement in the Hammond incident and had expressed an interest in notifying police of other criminal incidents he was involved with,” Doughty said.

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Vann would then lead police to the bodies of at least six other women left in abandoned buildings throughout Gary.

On her Facebook page Hardy’s mother “thanked God” her daughter’s killer was in custody, but says that will never bring her baby back.

Vann, a registered sex offender out of Texas, is currently only charged with Hardy’s murder. His involvement in the other cases is still being investigated.