The FBI and D.C.-area police agencies are renewing efforts to catch a potential serial rapist who they believe assaulted maids in hotel rooms in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and elsewhere in the Washington, D.C., area.
On Wednesday, the FBI announced the DNA profile of the alleged rapist has been indicted by a grand jury in D.C.—the first time such a move has been made in the district. By indicting the man’s DNA profile, he could be prosecuted if he is found, even though the statute limitations for rape is 15 years in D.C., according to the FBI.
The federal agency in partnership with Montgomery County police also released an “age-progressed” composite sketch of the man made using his DNA profile to show what he may look like today.
Investigators believe the man attacked female housekeepers as they cleaned hotel rooms and have linked him to 14 incidents, including nine sexual assaults. Six of the assaults have been linked to one man using the DNA profile and while the others were linked due to their similarities.
In one incident, the man is believed to have sexually assaulted a 31-year-old housekeeper around 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 1, 2002, at the Hilton Hotel on Colesville Road. The man left behind a red-handed box cutter with the name “Debbie” scrawled on it, which police hope could be linked to a potential suspect, according to officials.
The box cutter recovered by investigators after the alleged assault in Silver Spring. Via FBI
In June 2003, staff at the Marriott Hotel on Russell Avenue in Gaithersburg reported seeing a person trying to open room doors on various floors before fleeing in a black Nissan Sentra.
In another incident linked to the potential serial rapist, a 34-year-old woman was sexually assaulted at knifepoint on Feb. 13, 2005, in a room at the Quality Inn Hotel on New Hampshire Avenue in Takoma Park.
Other similar assaults or suspicious incidents were reported at hotels in Arlington, Hyattsville, Greenbelt and in D.C., officials said.
Investigators also recovered a ring believed to have been worn by the man after a reported assault at the Renaissance Hotel in D.C. in 2003. Pictures of the ring also were released this week.
An image of the ring left behind at the Renaissance Hotel in D.C.
Police are offering a reward up to $45,000 that leads to an arrest in the case. The FBI said it’s working with local police agencies to investigate, but there are no active leads in the cold case.
“We’re asking for the public’s help to solve these horrific crimes,” FBI Special Agent Erin Sheridan said in a statement. “Although this is a cold case from years ago, the FBI and local law enforcement will never give up. We still want to get justice for these victims. We’re asking the public [to] look at the photos, look at the details, and if you have anything that jogs your memory, please let us know.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Washington Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099.