'Teardrop Rapist' Linked to 35 Attacks May Have Struck Again
Suspect sketch from 2000 to 2002 (LAPD / April 24, 2012)
The latest attack happened around 5:30 a.m. on June 15 as the victim, a 29-year-old woman, was walking alone near 25th Street and Naomi Avenue.
She was approached by a man who tried to talk to her, and then stuck a gun in her face and forced her into an alley, police said.
The man tried to sexually assault her, but he was scared away when a vehicle pulled into the alley.
Investigators say the attack is similar to others linked to the Teardrop Rapist.
Previously, his last suspected attack was in November, as a 15-year-old girl was walking by herself near Normandie and Adams in Southwest L.A.
The suspect engaged her in conversation, and then pulled out a weapon and forced her into a secluded area, where he sexually assaulted her.
The teardrop rapist is believed to be responsible for 35 attacks beginning in April 1996.
Police say that at least 11 of the attacks have been linked to the suspect through DNA.
There was a gap in the attacks after an unsuccessful attempt to assault a 15-year-old girl in 2003.
The suspect didn't strike again for three years, until an attack in the Century area.
Another six years passed until an attack on Nov. 10 attack in Southwest L.A.
Between February 1999 and January 2003, there were 20 similar incidents thought to be the work of the same suspect.
There have been some variations in suspect descriptions, but police note that he always targets women who are alone in the early mornings.
His victims have ranged in age from 14 to 41.
At the time of the earlier attacks, the suspect was described as a Latino male with brown hair and brown eyes, about 5'2" to 5'6" tall and 130 to 170 pounds.
Witnesses at the time described him as being 30 to 40 years old.
He wore a dark, hooded sweatshirt, a green bandana and a black baseball cap or dark-colored beanie.
He is also believe to have one or more teardrop-shaped tattoos below one of his eyes.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the LAPD at 1-877-LAPD-24-7.