Reporting Stephanie Lucero
Update 9/10 2:30 p.m
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – CBS 11 has learned suspected serial rapist Van Dralan Dixson is in police custody. According to police, he was arrested in Baton Rouge. We have a crew working to get more details.
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The hunt continues for the suspect in a serial rape case. According to the Dallas Police Department, DNA evidence has now linked the same man to at least four victims who were attacked and sexually assaulted in the Fair Park area of southeast Dallas.
At least nine women have been attacked since June, police said. Some former prosecutors and criminal attorneys are questioning the police department’s decision to release a photograph of the suspect before the victims could positively identify him in a lineup. “They better hope that there’s DNA,” said defense attorney Pete Schulte, “or defense attorneys are going to have a field day on any identification, because this man’s picutre has been broadcast over every news station.”
Investigators said that they released Dixson’s picture because the suspect had partially covered his face during the attacks. Authorities are still waiting for the laboratory results to come back on the remaining five attacks. “It was more important to get him into custody,” said Maj. Jeff Cotner with the Dallas Police Department.
Authorities also stated on Monday that Dixson had been in custody last week due to a tip that had been received. But at that time, they did not have enough evidence to charge him with any crimes. “Mr. Dixson at that time provided a DNA sample which is a swab, which is a saliva swab,” said Cotner. Shortly after leaving police custody, Dixson left his children with family members and ditched his car in Garland.
Anyone with information that could help police track down and arrest the suspect is urged to call 911 immediately. Although a suspect has already been named, detectives are still actively investigating this case and will continue to pursue all leads. Law enforcement officials want the public to remain vigilant in reporting suspicious persons or activities.
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