DNA Shows 3 Lake Highlands Rapes Committed by Same Man: Dallas Police

Police say DNA profiles match for Feb. 22, March 15 and March 19 attacks

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dallas police are searching for a serial rapist who has sexually assaulted three women in Lake Highlands in less than a month. (Published Friday, Mar 22, 2013)

    Dallas police now say they are looking for only one person in connection with three sexual assaults in Lake Highlands that occurred over the last month.

    The series of attacks took place Feb. 22, March 15 and March 19 at homes along Ferndale Road and Aldwick Drive.

    Maj. Jeff Cotner said Friday that DNA evidence obtained from the cases all point to one attacker.

    "Today, Southwest Institute Forensics Sciences (SWIFS) released their findings into forensic evidence collected from the March 15 and 19 sexual assaults in the Lake Highlands community of Dallas. The DNA profile from these offenses matched the DNA profile obtained from the Feb. 22 offense. We have one suspect," Cotner said. "The DNA profile has been entered into statewide and national databases. No match was identified. He is unknown."

    DPD: Looking for One Attacker in Lake Highlands

    [DFW] DPD: Looking for One Attacker in Lake Highlands
    Dallas police say they are looking for only one person in connection with three sexual assaults in Lake Highlands that occurred over the last month. The sketches, police say, are from the first two offenses on Feb. 22 and March 15. (Published Friday, Mar 22, 2013)

    Cotner said they believe the man sustained injuries in the most recent attack and may have scratches on his face, cheeks and neck as well as bite marks on his hands and fingers. Police said the man may also have a deep laceration on one finger.

    During a news conference Friday, police revealed two sketches of the attacker from the first two assaults. Victim descriptions of the attacker have varied and included references to the man being black or Latino, between 5 feet 6 inches tall and 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing between 140 and 200 pounds.

    "Our victims provided this information to us," Cotner said. "They encountered a very violent attack. This information is through their trauma. Based upon the individual dynamics of their attack, this is what they can give us. Our suspect can be black; he can be dark-complected. He can be Hispanic. We don't know."

    Despite the different descriptions, Cotner said DNA evidence indicates all three attacks were committed by the same person.

    "The DNA profile tells us it is one guy for all three," Cotner said.

    Dallas police said an anonymous donor has increased the reward from $5,000 to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case. To be eligible for the reward, the tip must be received through Crime Stoppers by calling 877-373-8477.

    Officials said more than 100 tips have been received in the case, and they urge the public to continue reporting anything suspicious. They urge citizens to call 911 if the situation requires an immediate response. An additional tip line is available at 214-670-4415, though tipsters using that number will not be eligible for the reward.

    Timeline of Attacks

    Feb. 22 attack on Ferndale Road: A woman was assaulted in her home after a man broke in at about 12:45 a.m. and assaulted her in her bed at knife-point. Police said the attacker entered the home through a window and was described as 35-years-old, black with bald or short hair and that he spoke with an African accent. He is estimated to be about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 180 lbs.

    March 15 attack on Ferndale Road: A woman was assaulted at about 10 p.m. inside her home on Ferndale Road after a man entered the home through a window. The man was described as Latino and in his 20s with a round, chubby face and a buzz cut. He was clean-shaven and spoke English with a Spanish accent. He is estimated to be about 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 200 lbs.

    March 19 attack on Aldwick Drive: A woman was assaulted at about 6:45 a.m. inside her home on Aldwick Drive after a man kicked in the front door. The man is described as Latino, in his early 20s with light skin, a thin build and a thin mustache. He is estimated to be 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. The man spoke English with a Spanish accent and wore a gray hoodie and black leather gloves. Police said the man may have a scratch on his body.

    Residents on Edge

    Despite the heavy police presence in the area, Lake Highlands residents say they are not letting their guard down.

    Kristi Manning said she has armed herself in case the worst happens.

    "Every time I get out of my car, I look both ways," she said. I have my keys out -- they say that's one of the best ways to defend yourself."

    She said she also has started carrying mace for the first time.

    One of the assaults happened a few blocks from Seth Harrington's home. He updated his alarm once the rapes started in the neighborhood.

    "My alarm was working before; that didn't mean I set it every day," he said. "But now, I make sure every time I leave, I set my alarm. And I actually made sure the window-break system was working, as well."

    NBC 5's Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.