Police profile serial rapist as 'the guy next door'

December 04, 1992|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer

A police official last night described a man suspected of two rapes in the county as a serial rapist who appears to live a normal life and seeks out women in their 20s to victimize.

Authorities believe "this guy has been around for a while," Lt. Dan Davis of the county Police Department's criminal investigations unit told about 75 concerned residents at a meeting at Glenwood Middle School on Route 97.

The lieutenant described the rapist, who used the same method of attack in both incidents, as a white male in his late 30s to early 40s, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 10, with a medium build, dark hair with gray streaks and facial hair.

Police suspect that the man drives a small, two-door white car.

The man may be well-educated, married and live in an average house, and he is well-spoken, Lieutenant Davis said. "He seems to be the guy next door," he said, adding that the rapist apologizes after his attacks.

"He's not a hobo. He's not a drifter," the lieutenant said. "He's around to stay.

"He hits at different intervals, and what motivates him I'm not sure."

The rapist appears to seek out women in their 20s, about 5 feet 6, with long, dark hair, the lieutenant said. The rapes don't appear to be random, because it appears the rapist conducted surveillance of his victims, he said.

Police sponsored the hourlong meeting as part of their community policing program and after numerous callers inquired about the rapes. They also hope to get some leads to a suspect, and they wanted to warn women to be careful.

After the meeting, a woman who asked not to be identified said that she found it frightening that a man "you could talk to and think is a nice man" could be responsible for the rapes.

Although the two rapes that have residents on edge occurred six months apart -- the first one in May -- police are reviewing older rape cases in the county to see if the same man may be responsible for others, Lieutenant Davis said.

In the latest attack, about 11 a.m. Nov. 23, a man entered an unlocked door to a home in Poplar Springs, a neighborhood in Mount Airy, and tied up a 22-year-old woman inside, police said. The man, who was armed with a rifle or shotgun, blindfolded the victim, forced her into a white car, drove her to a house in an unknown location and raped her, police said.

The victim and her young daughter had just gotten home when the woman was attacked, police said. The child was left home alone during the abduction, police said.

After the rape, the man drove the victim to Laytonsville, a small town in Montgomery County about 11 miles south of Mount Airy, where he released her, police said.

Lieutenant Davis said authorities believe that the rapist is familiar with, or may live in, Montgomery County, most probably in Burtonsville.

In the earlier rape, about 10:45 a.m. May 14, a 19-year-old Dayton woman told police that a man entered an unlocked door to her home and abducted her at gunpoint. The man drove the blindfolded victim to a house in an unknown location and raped her, police said.

The victim was freed several hours later at a commuter parking lot near routes 29 and 216 near Scaggsville, not far from Montgomery County, police said.

Meanwhile, investigators in Montgomery County are trying to determine if rapes that occurred during burglaries on April 2 and Sept. 3, 1990, and July 14, 1992, near Castle Boulevard and Route 29 might have been committed by the same man in the Howard County attacks, said Ann Evans, a Montgomery police spokeswoman.

The victims in those incidents described their attacker as a mustachioed white male, between 25 and 40, 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10, and weighing 170 to 200 pounds, Mrs. Evans said. The rapist was armed with a gun or a knife, she said.

"It's hard to say" if the five rapes are related, Mrs. Evans said. "The method is so different."

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