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Can you help locate the Teardrop Rapist? LAPD is out of leads

Eighteen years and the Teardrop Rapist remains at large. @LAPD asks for help

Los Angeles police have renewed calls for the public's help in identifying the so-called Teardrop Rapist, who is believed to have sexually assaulted at least 35 women from Hollywood to South L.A. since 1996.

Police on Monday said detectives had exhausted all leads. Despite DNA left behind in 10 of his attacks, the rapist who terrorized dozens of women throughout Los Angeles still has not been identified.

The man, police say, has a teardrop tattoo or other mark near his eye but may have attempted to remove it. Police compiled an array of sketches of the assailant.

Last week, detectives said on a Facebook page created for the investigation that  “although it has been almost two years since the last assault, the attacker is still out there.”

“We have no fresh leads," the post read, "and are still looking for the community's help to identify the suspect.”

Even after detectives followed up on hundreds of leads, enlisted the help of FBI profilers and offered a $100,000 reward, the attacker has eluded authorities for more than 18 years.

The assaults began in February 1996. Authorities say the man usually approaches a lone woman between the ages of 14 and 41 on their way to work or school. Some of his victims were waiting at bus stops.

After talking with an intended victim, he threatens her life with a knife or handgun and forces her off the sidewalk to a secluded area, where he sexually assaults her, according to authorities. The attacks have tended to occur in the morning between 5:15 a.m. and 8 a.m.

The last assault was in 2012 on Naomi Avenue near 25th Street in South Los Angeles, where the man forced himself on a woman but was scared off by an approaching vehicle.

The attacker is described as a Latino about 40 to 55 years old, weighing 130 to 170 pounds and standing between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-6, with brown hair, brown eyes and a light complexion. He sometimes wears a bandana, beanie or baseball hat.

Anyone with information is asked to contact LAPD's 24-hour number, (877) 527-3247, or email rhd-sas@lapd.lacity.org.

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA

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