$10,000 reward for PBC serial rapist - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

$10,000 reward for PBC serial rapist

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL (WFLX) - Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies are renewing their manhunt for a serial rapist.

This is coming just a day after news broke that there was a fifth attack. Now, a forensic scientist from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office is explaining how the DNA lab links cases through DNA evidence.

A man in a white t-shirt can be seen in surveillance video from the first attack. Sheriff's deputies say he's responsible for five rapes throughout Palm Beach County. The white t-shirt is one clue, but, investigators say, the really big piece of the puzzle is the DNA evidence which helped link the crimes.

"We screen the evidence for the presence of blood, semen or other touch evidence. Things that may have been handled by someone," said Karin Crenshaw, a senior forensic scientist for the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Then, the analysts compare the DNA profiles to standards from convicts in the database and look for matches. In this case, the first rape dates back to April of 2009. The most recent one happened nearly 2 weeks ago.

While detectives have already collected DNA evidence, the processing takes much more time than people may expect. Crenshaw says that on television shows such as CSI, it takes one hour to match DNA evidence. She says, realistically, it may take up to 60 days to get a DNA profile and generate a report.

Sheriff's deputies hope the $10,000 reward money will provide that extra push to convince any witnesses to come forward. In the meantime, however, they hope that DNA evidence will help lead them to the rapist and provide justice for these victims and peace of mind for area residents.

"Many of them have lived here for many years, and they say it has been a very safe place for the people and they can't understand what happened in this situation," said resident Alma Morales.

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