Los Angeles police are again searching for a serial rapist with a distinct tattoo, that of a teardrop, and a unique mode of operation. An attack in 2011 has officially been linked to the man, making the search even more vital and raising fears in the community.
After a 7-year hiatus, a 15-year-old girl walking in south Los Angeles was attacked and raped, police state. She was on her own when a man approached, asked for directions, then pulled a gun and assaulted her.
The young girl is the 28th victim of the teardrop rapist, though authorities do not know why there was a 7-year break between attacks. It is possible that the man was serving time for another crime or was merely trying to throw police off.
"The crimes have been rape, sodomy, oral copulation, kidnapping … the [mode of operation] is very distinct … these women are walking alone," LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said during a news conference.
According to police, all of the attacks took place between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m., with the rapist approaching women on their own, engaging them in conversation, then branding a knife or gun. After forcing the women to walk to a secluded area, he then assaulted them.
In addition to the same M.O., police have linked the assaults to a single assailant due to a distinguishing mark: a teardrop tattoo.
"The teardrops have been mentioned by a large number of the victims. We believe that that is a clue in play and worthy of mention, yet confusing because some victims have said right eye, some victims have said left eye," Albanese explained.
"We don't want to confuse the public, but at the same time we want to put information out that's relevant to our ability to arrest this guy," he said. Police are currently offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.