BL rape

Editor's Note: The following article is provided by content partner KATV Channel 7 News.

Arkansas' infamous "blue light rapist" died on Wednesday, according to prison officials.

Arkansas Department of Correction spokesperson Solomon Graves confirmed on Thursday that Robert Todd Burmingham, 54, died on Wednesday while serving a life sentence for rape.

Burmingham became known as the “Blue Light Rapist” in 1997 because he used a blue light to pull over, kidnap and rape his victims. He was convicted Cross county in 1998 for rape, aggravated robbery, and kidnapping.

During his daily COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said on Thursday that Burmingham had tested positive for coronavirus. Senior Deputy Coroner Karen Cumming said he died at UAMS on Wednesday afternoon after he was admitted for accute respiratory failure. According to his death certificate, Burmingham died of acute hypoxic respiratory failure and viral pneumonia secondary to coronavirus.

One of his survivors, Shannon Woods, said she is relieved.

“While not everyone may agree with me, I’m happy that he has passed,” Woods said. “Every few months I would get notifications that he had been released under supervised hospital release.”

Woods helped pass "Shannon's Law" which makes it unlawful to possess, purchase, sell or transfer a blue light or blue lens cap as well as other law enforcement insignia in Arkansas.

Burmingham maintained his innocence while on trial.

"It's just another part of the closure—and it would bring me full closure if he had confessed and that information was passed on to me,” Woods said. “I believe this would bring full closure to all of his victims."

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