Police use DNA to build image of sex assault suspect

Montgomery County police used DNA to make a composite of sex assault suspect.

GAITHERSBURG, MD (WUSA9) - For the first time on Thursday, the public and even his victims, could see the face of a man who terrorized at least five women.

It’s all thanks to new technology that uses DNA found at the crime scenes to draw up a picture of what the man looks like.

It’s a face one 68-year-old victim couldn’t see because he was wearing a mask when he assaulted her. He did it twice. Once in June 2010 and then a second time, about six months later. 

“The wheels of justice may grind slowly," said the woman- who cannot be identified. “But Let’s hope they succeed and they get him, because he’s not going to stop. Because he’s just going to keep on doing it.”

The man broke in and sexually assaulted his victims in their homes, all in the Gaithersberg and Germantown area. He targeted elderly woman. One of his victims was 95 years old.

DNA can be used to build a facial resemblance, including width and general features. 

It also pinpoints race, eye and hair color. In this case, the victims were able to fill in details like age and body weight.

“They do believe he was in his mid-twenties at the time,” said Montgomery Police Public Information Officer Rick Goodale.

“He may still be in the area, and we’re hoping to ID him and get him off the streets,” said Goodale

It’s the second cold case to use DNA this way.

Last week, Montgomery County police released an image of a man they believe murdered James Essel in his store. Police say they’re now in the process of following up on a number of fresh leads.

RELATED: New DNA analysis now predicts who killer might be

As for this for the victim she wants to be clear:  “I can’t say it’s ruined my life.”

But she says she’s glad she preserved as much evidence as possible.

“I just want to say to woman who are assaulted that they should do the right thing, and they should not be afraid to call police," she said. 

Police say these crimes happened between 2010-2012, but they can’t know for certain if he has stopped sexually assaulting women, moved, or simply stopped leaving evidence.

They want anyone who recognizes the man to come forward.
 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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