The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.
Earlier in the he week, James Martin, 40, was charged in the 1998 killing of Marleny Cruz. Now Westchester authorities are probing whether there is a connection to Laurie McKissick, who was killed in 1999.
James Martin, 40, was extradited to New York on Wednesday from the Somerset Correctional Facility in Pennsylvania on murder and rape charges.
Police said 40-year-old James Martin was extradited to New York on Wednesday and arrested on charges of murder and rape.