Reporting Sharrie Williams
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - The hunt for an accused serial rapist, who police say terrorized women in South Dallas for nearly three months is over.
Van Dralan Dixson was taken into custody more than 400 miles away from Dallas in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, according to Dallas police.
Maj. Jeff Cotner says Dixson was caught in a motel near downtown Baton Rouge at about 2 p.m. by the US Marshalls Middle Louisiana Task Force.
Cotner says DPD learned on Monday morning that Dixson was in contact with family members in the Dallas area and was out of state. From there, they determined he had traveled to Louisiana by bus.
Dixson is being held in East Baton Rouge Parish jail as arrangements are being made to bring him back to Dallas.
During an afternoon news conference, DPD Chief David Brown thanked the citizens of Dallas and the officers who assisted with the investigation. He also promised to answer questions about the investigation and release a complete timeline of the investigation on Wednesday.
“I know there is a lot of questions of me…of all of our decisions throughout this investigation. What I would like to do, in order to respond to each and every one of them, is take some time and have a chronology of the entire investigation briefed to all of you on tomorrow,” said Brown.
“There were specific things that we had done that we did not reveal to the public, where it would have interfered with the investigation, and so we want to fill in some holes and gaps during that tomorrow Q & A with you all,” Brown told the media.
The Dallas Police Department faced criticism for waiting until the seventh reported rape to notify the public. The first two rapes were reported in mid-June. Police said there was a six week gap until the next reported sexual assault, and they issued a warning as soon as they linked the seven attacks. Two more women came forward to report they had been raped after that initial warning.
Dixson’s capture comes one week after police warned the public about the rapes.
One of the victims told CBS11 she was “so happy” to hear of the arrest. Her mother, Vanessa Johnson, said since the rape, she has used her refrigerator to block her front door for a little extra protection from intruders at night. Johnson was supposed to pick up her daughter from work at four o’clock in the morning on September 1.
“I overslept and she walked home,” she said.
On her way home, her daughter told police, a man approached her from behind, put a gun to her head, and raped her.
“She cries all day. We go out to eat, she’s crying, bringing up stuff about this man,” said Johnson. “I would like to have a talk with him.”
Johnson said she wants answers to the questions haunting her. “Why would you touch my daughter and rape my daughter?” she said.
Monday night, police confirmed DNA links Dixson to four of the nine rapes reported in the Fair Park area. Police say they are still awaiting the results from other assaults.
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