WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami.com) – Authorities in Palm Beach County have released a new, updated composite sketch of a serial rapist wanted for at least five sexual assaults dating back to 2009. The reward for information leading to an arrest has also been increased to $10,000.
The most recent rape took place on September 23rd in central Palm Beach County in the 2500 block of 10th Avenue North, which is just east of the Esperanza Apartment complex. Investigators say the victim, a 22-year-old woman, was walking around 6:30 am while wearing an iPod. A witness told detectives the attacker followed the woman, grabbed her from behind, and dragged her into some nearby bushes. Authorities say the woman fought the man, and bit one of his fingers. Investigators say the suspect bit the woman twice in the face, held the woman down with his arm across her throat and his hand over her mouth.
PBSO says the woman lost consciousness and woke up with her pants off and her purse missing.
Detectives have been on the suspect’s trail since April 2009. According to PBSO, they have linked him to the five attacks through DNA.
Click here to see the Serial Rapist (flyer).
The attacks began in April 2009 in Jupiter. Grainy surveillance video shows a man walking behind a 21-year-old woman minutes before she is beaten, bitten and raped in the area of Old Dixie Highway.
In July 2009, a 26-year old Palm Springs woman was attacked in the early morning hours inside her home and sexually battered.
In August 2009, again in central Palm Beach County in the area of Forest Hill Blvd. and N. Military Trail., a 53-year-old woman was sitting on her front porch late in the evening when she was beaten, bitten and sexually assaulted. The suspect stole two rings off of her fingers.
In January 2010, again in central Palm Beach County in the area of Lake Worth Road and Congress Avenue, a 58-year-old woman was attacked while walking to work in the early morning hours. She was violently beaten and sexually assaulted and the suspect also stole two rings from her.
Investigators have the suspect’s DNA. However, they say his DNA does not match any DNA samples in any criminal database.
Investigators have warned residents to be on guard for another attack. They recommend women be cognizant of their surroundings. They also recommend walking with a friend.
Victims describe the suspect as a stocky or “pudgy” man, about 5 feet 6, and 170 pounds, with dark hair, and in his 20′s or 30′s.
PBSO is urging anyone with information about the attacker to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.