Police report: Sexual assaults may be linked
Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 11:12 am
MARTIN (AP) — Law enforcement officials in West Tennessee are investigating a series of home invasions and sexual assaults on women that may be linked.
Since June, two women were attacked in Martin, one woman in Memphis and one woman in Cordova. A third assault on a woman in Martin was reported Sunday.
John Mehr, a special agent with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, told The Jackson Sun that the man in the latest assault was wearing a mask similar to the one described in earlier attacks.
The suspect is described as a large white male with thinning hair and a large stomach.
“We are asking people to be aware of what is going on in their community,” Mehr said. “If they saw something unusual or out of the ordinary, give us a call. Write down any tag numbers to vehicles that seem suspicious, and report them.”
Mehr has said authorities have not been able to connect the cases with DNA evidence, but the attacks may be linked based on the descriptions.
Kristin Helm, a TBI spokeswoman, said Monday that investigators are still leaving open the possibility that one person may not have committed all of the crimes.
About two weeks ago, officials released a sketch of the suspect’s face after witnesses told investigators they saw the man after one of the attacks.
The first assault occurred at a Cordova apartment building on June 27, when a woman was sexually assaulted at gunpoint. About a month later, a woman in Martin was sexually assaulted in her apartment by a man armed with a black automatic pistol.
Authorities said the next two attacks occurred Aug. 5. Early in the morning, Memphis police said a woman was sexually assaulted by a man who broke into her apartment. Later that same day, Martin police said a woman was at home when she was attacked by a man wearing a mask and armed with a black pistol.
Information from: The Jackson Sun, http://www.jacksonsun.com
Published in The Messenger 9.1.09