Police are searching for a suspect in the rapes of as many as 15 elderly women in Fullerton, Santa Ana, Anaheim and Claremont since July of last year.
Detectives from the four police departments met Tuesday in Fullerton to exchange information on the attacks, most of which occurred in December and March, Fullerton Police Sgt. Bud Lathrop said. The same man may have been responsible for the rape of an 84-year-old woman in Anaheim last Saturday, Anaheim Police Detective Jack Jessen said.
“I think this is a task force waiting to happen,” Lathrop said. “We need some kind of linchpin, a vital piece of information that would definitely tie all these cases together.” Lathrop said that five of the rapes may not have been committed by the same man, adding: “They’re similar, but a little bit different.”
Most of the victims were over 60 years old, lived alone, and were raped in their homes late at night or in the early morning, Lathrop said. Police believe that the rapist, who threatened the women verbally, was unarmed.
Because all of the attacks took place in dark rooms, police have not been able to put together a good composite picture of the man, Lathrop said. In some cases he has covered his victims’ faces with a cloth.
Lathrop said that the women have described the man as 25 to 35 years old, black, about 6 feet tall, and between 170 and 200 pounds. Some said he wore a hat--possibly a baseball cap.
Fullerton police had one suspect, a man with a record of similar crimes, police sources said, but they were unable to connect him to the rapes. Claremont police, however, still consider the man a suspect and are trying to establish his whereabouts when the rapes occurred, Claremont Police Detective Nolan Woods said.