Hunt for 'Teardrop Rapist' suspect intensifies


New sketches have been released in the case of the "Teardrop Rapist." Police say the suspect is connected to more than two dozen attacks on women and girls since the 1990s. The victims report a teardrop tattoo on the face.

The most recent attack was reported in November. A 15-year-old girl was walking when she was approached by a man asking for directions. He pulled out a gun, pushed her into an alley and sexually assaulted her. The November attack came after a five-year hiatus of attacks attributed to the suspect.

Tuesday, the LAPD released nine composite sketches of the suspect based on all 28 victims' descriptions.

The suspect was believed to be a light-complected Hispanic male about 40 years old, weighing between 140 and 200 pounds, standing between 5 feet 2 inches and 6 feet tall. Variations are expected with so many witnesses over a long period of time.

DNA evidence links 11 of the 28 attacks to the same suspect. The others are linked by the method the suspect employs, including attacks in the early-morning hours between 5 and 8, the use of a gun or a knife, and the recurrence of South Los Angeles-area attacks.

"The teardrops have been mentioned by a large number of the victims," said LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese. "We believe that that is a clue in play and worthy of mention, yet confusing because some victims have said right eye, some victims have said left eye, some victims have said one teardrop, one victim said as many as three teardrops." kirk Albanese

Women in the area are warned to be aware of surroundings early in the morning and to avoid walking alone.

Anyone with information related to the case should contact the the LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7.

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