Sketches of serial rapist supsects on billboards

March 25, 2013 10:38:46 AM PDT
Investigators are aggressively seeking leads on a series of rapes in north Harris County. They say there have been at least seven rapes at apartment complexes over the past year and a half.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office is hoping billboards will lead to one or two serial rape suspects, who they fear will strike again if they are not caught.

Drivers will see a billboard on Highway 59 near FM 1960, as they head inbound. At various times, the billboard will have sketches of either one or two rape suspects, who were described to a sketch artist by their sexual assault victims.

Investigators say seven women have been raped during a span of 18 months. Detectives say that in four of these cases, the DNA was identical, suggesting that the same person sexually assaulted more than half of the victims.

Investigators say the rapists' pattern is the same every time -- the assailant makes a date with a woman in the escort business, takes her to an apartment in the Cypress-Station area and sexually assaults her.

The investigation has hit a dead-end, so Clear Channel has partnered with the sheriff's office to display the sketches. This is the first time the sheriff's office has used billboards to go after criminals.

"Getting the information on this suspect is critical," explained Deputy Thomas Gilliland. "This is why we're doing the billboards. These digital sketches, and the clarity that we'll be able to use on these billboards, are much easier and it's going to be a great tool for us."

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.

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