DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas police said serial rape suspect Van Dralan Dixson is now linked by DNA tests to four of the nine South Dallas sexual assault cases. This latest development comes no doubt as a surprise to some people in the community who knew Dixson.
One of those people, Alendra Lyons worked with Dixson trying to make the neighborhood a safer place.
When Lyons became president of the Mill City Community Association and Crime Watch, she had one goal in mind: to clean up the historic neighborhood.
As part of the crime watch, residents were asked to be on the lookout for suspicious activity and report it neighbors and police.
“Just make life better over here,” Lyons said.
She believed Van Dixson, one of six residents who volunteered to be block captains, had the same goals in mind.
“We had a good relationship as we came to the meetings and we got along quite well, you know,” she said.
She felt even stronger about that when Dixson volunteered to write in the Community Association’s monthly newsletter.
In his post dated August 17th, he wrote:
“The Mill City Crime Watch needs your support. We are trying to clean up our neighborhood and we would like for everyone to come out.Let’s restore Mill City to its once-proud self. If you are concerned about how our neighborhood looks, and about the crime, come voice your concerns. Every voice is needed to make a change. No one will help us if we won’t help ourselves. It’s time to draw the line against crime. Let’s clean up all the trash and make Mill City look like a neighborhood that we can call be proud to call our own.” – Van Dixson, Block Captain
Three days later on August, 20th a sexual assault was reported in a vacant home on Spring Ave.
Six more rapes were subsequently reported over the next two weeks and were later connected to two sexual assaults that took place in June.
“My son actually texted me and said, ‘Be careful, there is some…there is a crazy man out there raping people,’” Lyons said.
Neighbors reported seeing Dixson walking the streets frequently, armed, but now they are questioning his motive.
Dallas Police say DNA evidence linked Dixson to at least one of the 9 victims and named him the prime suspect in the string rapes.
An arrest warrant was issued, but Dixson remains on the run.
His car was discovered Sunday in a parking lot in Garland. When Dallas police spoke with Dixon’s family members, they told police Dixson left his three children in the care of family members and has not been seen.
Lyons said background checks are not required for volunteers.
She had no idea Dixson had a criminal background, including serving prison time for assault.
“I just pray that he comes forward though, and just go ahead and deal with it and it will be okay. Just start over and do better,” Lyons said.
If you know Dixson’s whereabouts you are asked to call police.
Anyone wishing to remain anonymous can call Crimestoppes at 214-373-8477.
Crime stoppers will pay up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest or indictment for this felony offense or any other felony offense.
Oak Farms Dairy is offering an additional $10,000 reward in the case.
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