Rapist on the loose - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Rapist on the loose

April 10, 2006

Albany--A warning tonight about a possible serial rapist. Dougherty County Police need your help to catch him.

They say the same person is responsible for at least seven rapes since last January. The most recent happened Friday after a man abducted a woman at gunpoint in the 200 block of South Monroe street.

Police say the rapist targets the same locations in south Albany every few months. He takes women from south Albany to a spot out in the county where he rapes them.

So far, he has abducted women walking between midnight and 5 AM from South McKinnely, South Davis, West Highland, and most recently South Monroe.

We visited two of those streets tonight where people tell us they're on high alert.

Stacey Chiles admits she's now uneasy walking alone in her South Albany neighborhood.

"I don't even want to go to the store to be honest, uh, huh!" she says. Chiles lives near South McKinnely street where several women were abducted, then raped.

"People these days are crazy, and they'll do anything to you," says Chiles. Now she's making sure others in her community stay indoors when night falls.

"Better look out because he might be on the loose somewhere around here peeping," warns Chiles.

Police say the man is simply looking for easy targets. "Somebody who's walking along looks like they might need a ride or someone he feels like he can force into the car," says Sgt. Phillips, with Dougherty County Police.

Victims are taken up a dirt path near the intersection of Pecan Grove Lane and Oakhaven Drive and raped, then left in this pecan orchard.

All seven victims have given similar descriptions of their attacker. "About six feet two inches tall, about 240 pounds or so, average complexion, black male with clean shaven or sometimes he does have a beard but it's always a neat shaven beard," says Sgt. Phillips.

"I'm terrified," says Marla Childs. She lives on the same block of South Monroe Street as a woman who was raped three days ago.

"I could be the next victim. When I get off at school late at night after 10 PM, I go home alone," says Childs.

With a rapist lurking in her neighborhood, she plans to make sure she's home before the sun goes down.

"Leave school early and get home early," she says.

Police currently have no suspects, but are following several leads.

"We're hoping to get assistance from the community. We're certain he lives in within a general, and we're hoping that somebody who lives near that area knows what's going on and let us know," says Sgt. Phillips.

For Stacey, she worries if police will ever make an arrest. "They still haven't caught him yet, and he's still been doing this, uh, huh," she says.

But police assure Chiles and other women in the area that they will find the man responsible for taking advantage of women in this neighborhood.

Several of the women who were raped were previously arrested for prostitution. Sgt. Phillips says there may be more rape victims who are just afraid to come forward.

If you have any information that could lead to the arrest of this serial rapist, call Dougherty County Police at 430-6600.

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