Miami Police Seek More Links to Rapist
Several other crimes that may have been committed by the North
Miami-Dade serial rapist indicate the seriousness of the attacks may
BY LUISA YANEZ, The Miami Herald
County police said Tuesday that they are looking at six additional crimes that may have been committed by the elusive North Miami-Dade rapist, who is already linked through DNA to five sexual assaults -- one on a 7-year-old.
If the same man committed the additional crimes -- all of which were against girls ages 10 to 18 -- it means the rapist began his attacks nearly two months before the Christmas Day 2002 assault detectives had previously said was his first.
"All along, we have been looking at all kinds of older and similar crimes for the possibility that he may have committed them," Commander Linda O'Brien said. ``We have five sexual assaults linked to him for sure by DNA and we have an additional  crimes in our and other jurisdictions that we're looking at."
The six crimes announced Tuesday are in addition to the nine crimes police said on Friday had been linked to the rapist by either DNA or his method of operation.
Police also released a profile of the rapist: He lives in the area he targets and has a good job. The reason: He never takes any valuables from his victims.
"One victim offered him money so he would not rape her and he refused," said Detective Robert Garland, who is leading the investigation. ``He has not taken any money from his victims -- nothing of physical value."
The rapist strikes in the early morning hours, usually when his victims are asleep. He breaks in through a window and covers his face with a scarf or mask. He has used a variety of weapons, from his bare hands to a gun or knife.
His most recent known attack took place in the early hours of Nov. 28, when the rapist crawled through an open window and assaulted two sisters -- ages 7 and 8 -- in their bed.
Tuesday, as many as 60 officers canvassed the area where the rapist has struck -- the same area blanketed earlier in the day with a mass mailing asking the public to be vigilant and call if they spot anyone who looks or acts like the man on the wanted poster.
"Catching him is a No. 1 priority," said O'Brien, speaking at the North Side police station minutes before teams of officers set out to knock on doors near the crime scenes. ``We'll be out there to get as much information and leads as we can."
The cases -- newly publicized in a release Tuesday -- came under repeat scrutiny by the department because they resemble the attacks linked by DNA to the rapist. The additional cases -- if committed by the same man -- show an escalation in the seriousness of the crimes.
In November and December 2002, there were three occasions of lewd acts being performed on young victims and one attempt at sexual battery. On Christmas Day, the first rape took place.
ON SAME DAY
Two of the other cases police now are saying may be connected to the rapist took place the same day. On Oct. 16, an 18-year-old reported being attacked. That night, a 10-year-old was attacked in her home, nearly 100 blocks away. The man returned the next day to attack the same girl a second time. Although he managed to get inside the house, he was not able to assault the girl.
Police explained they were taking a second look at these crimes because they bear "strong similarities" to the suspect's method of operation and selection of victims.
Like the other cases linked to him, the additional victims are black and between the ages of 10 and 18. The attacks have all taken place in the North-central Miami-Dade area. It's an area changed by news of the attacks.
In 30 years of living in North Side, Sarah Bailey said she has never received a piece of mail like the flier she got Tuesday.
"I took a good look at his sketch but I don't recognize him," said Bailey, 71, who used to think nothing of strolling over to a nearby grocery store at night.
"No more, " she said.
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