DNA links man to five rapes in PBC - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

DNA links man to five rapes in PBC

LAKE WORTH, FL (WFLX) - A sexual assault that took place on September 23 is now being linked to four other attacks in Palm Beach County.

Residents who live near the Esperanza Apartments in Lake Worth, where this most recent attack took place, say they are deeply concerned for their safety at night and in the early morning hours -- when the suspect has been known to attack.

''Petrified, very scared," said one woman. "It's really dangerous because it's pitch black, and there's nobody around."

Investigators with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office say the woman, who is now being called the fifth victim of the serial rapist, was speed-walking eastbound on 10th Avenue alone at 6:10 a.m. when she was attacked. She had no idea someone was following her.

Captain Carol Gregg says the suspect dragged the woman six feet from the sidewalk, then the two began to fight for several minutes. "The male pulled her into the shrubs, and a struggle ensued between the two until he gained control and pulled her to the ground," said Gregg.

Investigators say the suspect then held the victim down with his arm across her throat and his hand over her mouth until she lost consciousness.

"[When she awoke], she discovered her clothing had been pulled off her, and her purse and the suspect were gone," said Gregg. "An examiner at the hospital confirmed she had been sexually assaulted."

The sheriff's office says it needs the public to look at the composite sketch, remember the face and be on the watch. "It's frustrating when we know it's the same person, but we have no way to identify him," said Gregg.

All five assaults happened in an area spanning from Jupiter to Lake Worth between April 2009 and last month.

Palm Beach County Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.

If you have any information, call 1-800-458-TIPS.

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