ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KPLR)– St. Louis County police say the suspect in a September rape off Fee Fee Road is also responsible for an attack about a year and a half earlier just five miles away. The Hispanic attacker appears to be targeting Asian women.
Their initial investigation was into the September 9thh attack of an 18 year old walking home from a friend’s apartment along Fee Fee, not far from Parkway North High School. She was raped in a grassy area off the side of the road.
Police say DNA evidence collected from the victim was sent off to a lab. It came back matching evidence collected in another rape in the Beau Jardin Apartments off Old Olive back in April, 2011. Both victims are of Asian descent.
“In that incident a 27 year old female was awakened in her apartment, which she had been alone in, by a man who covered her face and sexually assaulted her,” St. Louis County Police Lt. Tom Larkin told reporters.
There is a seventeen month gap between the two attacks, which has detectives looking at a number of theories as to what went on in the interim.
“We’re investigating the possibility of an incarceration, the possibility even of a deportation. The possibility of a transient person involved in many different types of employment that would be throughout this country.”
Investigators are in contact with police in Maryland, New York, and California. In each of those states they say police are looking into multiple rapes where the suspect was Hispanic and the victims were Asian.
Meanwhile, here in St. Louis, they say they aren’t trying to alarm Asian women, but at the same time, they need to know what’s going on.
“There’s every reason to believe this could happen again.” Larkin said. “Obviously I don’t have a crystal ball. I couldn’t tell you. But I think history teaches us that a compulsive act, a violent act like this, isn’t necessarily going to stop on its own.”
Still, local women are worried. FOX 2 caught up with one woman who lives in the vicinity of the attacks, and wanted to conceal her identity for safety. She says, “This is a pretty nice neighborhood, we got the park here, and families and kids are playing, and you would think it’d be safe to walk around, and we try to go walking in the evenings, and to think that we can’t do that anymore is kind of freaky.”
Another woman, enjoying the afternoon at nearby Creve Coeur Lake, is also concerned. She hopes police pick up the predator before more women get hurt. She says, “I’m afraid, especially at this moment, you hear everywhere, nowhere is safe.”
The man police are looking for is described as a heavyset Hispanic male. He’s believed to be in his 40’s. He’s got side burns and some facial hair on his chin. He’s between 5’6” and 5’8” and weighs in the neighborhood of 175-200 pounds.
If you have any information, you’re asked to contact Crimestoppers at 866-371-TIPS(8477).