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Police seek public help in cold case

May 29, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

HAGERSTOWN - Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the man who sexually assaulted three girls in separate incidences linked by DNA testing years after they happened.

Hagerstown Police Department Detective Pat Moulton said she is confident a man who abducted and sexually assaulted two girls in the fall of 1988 will be caught. Both Moulton and Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Jeffrey Brock, who is investigating a similar case that happened in that state 11 years later, said they suspect the perpetrator likely has continued victimizing children.

Moulton said DNA proved in 2004 the Hagerstown and Pennylvania cases are linked.

On Sept. 10, 1988, a man driving a car stopped in the alley off the 100 block of Broadway and asked children riding their bikes for directions, Moulton said.

"Unfortunately, our victim says she knew immediately something wasn't right. He got out of the car and forced her into the hatchback area of the car," Moulton said.

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Moulton said the man drove the 7-year-old to Eldridge Drive behind the Washington County Board of Education Central Office, where he sexually assaulted her before letting her go within an hour of the abduction.

On Oct. 16, 1988, Moulton said, an 8-year-old girl riding a bike with her friend and younger brother was approached by a motorist asking for directions. The man got out of the car and showed what appeared to be a handgun and ordered one of the children into the car. While the girl's friend fled, the girl stayed behind with her brother, who was about 3.

"As the victim attempts to comfort her screaming brother, he forced her into the car," Moulton said.

Moulton said the man drove the girl to Sabillasville, Md., where he sexually assaulted her before letting her go.

Almost 11 years to the day of the first assault, Brock said the man struck again. On Sept. 19, 1999, he sexually assaulted a a 12-year-old girl he grabbed from a street in Cairnbrook, Pa. The man drove the victim to West Virginia before returning to Pennsylvania, where he released her.

Brock, who was working at the Somerset County barrack of the Pennsylvania State Police at the time of the incident, said he has never given up on the case. Now young women, the victims of all three cases want to see resolution, Brock and Moulton said.

Brock and Moulton said they believe the man still might be a threat.

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