St. Louis County Police believe a third attack may be related to two rapes already linked to the same offender in the Creve Coeur and Maryland Heights area.
The St. Louis County and Maryland Heights police departments hosted a town hall meeting Tuesday night at Parkway North High School to help inform residents about new developments. About 200 people attended the meeting, which included a free self-defense class led by volunteers from Midwest Krav Magra.
“My 32 years of police work tells me this individual will not stop until he’s caught,” St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told the crowd at the town hall meeting.
He said he worked on the South Side Rapist case, which took 25 years to solve.
“We want to get information out to people because we don’t want this to take 25 years to solve,” Fitch said.
Police already have biological evidence linking a rape at the Beau Jardin Apartments April 4, 2011 to the one committed Sept. 19 across the street from Parkway North High School. The apartment complex is located just west of Lindbergh Boulevard in unincorporated St. Louis County between Creve Coeur and Maryland Heights.
Police now believe a previously unreported attack sometime in June 2011 could be related to the other two attacks. It was also reported at the Beau Jardin Apartments.
“That particular incident has not been linked at this time, however because of the similarities and descriptions in the attack, it sounds like the same individual,” said Sgt. Craig Longworth, a St. Louis County detective, told the crowd.
The person attacked in June 2011 was an Indian woman, who was approached from behind outside the apartments. The attacker grabbed her around the neck and pulled her to the ground. The woman fought back and screamed loudly, and the attacker ran off, Longworth said.
The woman gave a description of her attacker similar to the one given in the other two incidents. However, the woman in the unreported attack did not want to press charges.
The attacker has been described as being a Hispanic man, 5 feet, 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, about 175 to 200 pounds, medium to heavy build, short dark hair. When he attacked the woman Sept. 19, he had slight facial hair.
The woman in the attack across from Parkway North High School told police the man had a smoker’s cough.
Women in the two reported rapes both were Asian women. The woman in the unreported attack is Indian. Each had the same slight build and were ages 18 to 28.
Fitch said encouraged anyone with information to come forward, whether it regards another attack or information on a suspect. He said police have reached out to the Asian-American and Hispanic-American communities, encouraging them to spread the word and come forward with information.
One woman, Olivia Pieknik of Ballwin, said she wanted to help as an Asian-American who speaks fluent Vietnamese and Cantonese.
“Criminals target those who will not speak up or cannot defend themselves,” Pieknik said. “It’s typical of criminals and predators. If I can help with language or cultural barriers, I would like to do that.”
The 14-month gap in time between attacks is suspicious, Longworth acknowledged. Police believe the attacker may have been out of town during that time. However, there have been no definite matches to similar attacks in other areas, he said.
The investigation includes looking at roofing companies and other jobs that attract Hispanic workers to the area, Longworth said.
Fitch said there is a $1,000 reward offered for information that leads to the arrest of the rapist.
If you have information regarding these or other crimes, you can call 314-615-4692 or and leave anonymous tips at St. Louis Regional CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477 (TIPS).
For more information on this case on Creve Coeur Patch, see the following articles:
- UPDATE: County Police Investigating Reported Rape Near Creve Coeur
- Authorities: Creve Coeur Area Case Linked To Serial Rapist
- County Police Plan Town Hall Tuesday About Rape Cases