Wednesday, Apr. 29, 2009, Sarasota sheriff blasts Manatee’s sketch release; SARASOTA — An effort by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office to inform the public on the progress of an investigation of a confirmed serial attacker (murder) of women in Sarasota turned into a critique of the decision by Manatee investigators to release a sketch of a possible suspect in a similar attack in northwest Bradenton. UPDATE...Tuesday, May 26, 2009, Masked Man Beats and Rapes Woman In Her Home On Siesta Key, The Attack Mimics 10 Other Sarasota-Bradenton Home Invasion Serial Attacks of Women.
In recent weeks, sheriff’s offices in Sarasota and Manatee, along with police departments in Sarasota and Bradenton, have pledged to work together to find out if one man has beaten 10 women in brutal attacks in both counties.
But during the reading to the media of a prepared statement detailing DNA test results, Sarasota Sheriff’s Col. Steve Burns on Tuesday criticized the release of the sketch. “Continued circulation of that composite in regards to this overall investigation may be detrimental,” Burns said.
Earlier in the news conference, Burns had announced that DNA found in the Sarasota cases has confirmed that the same attacker is responsible for more than one of the attacks.
The attacker in the Home Invasions in Sarasota and Bradenton Fl has been described by victims as a white male, 5'10" to 6' 0" tall, about 175 to 185 lbs, 35 to 55 years old, he wears a BLACK SKI MASK and has made statements that he robs to feed a crack cocaine habit.
The DNA the Sarasota cops have obtained most likely came from the April 6th murder of Georgeann Smith, the black belt karate expert who fought back. Since the Sarasota cops have the DNA of the supposed attacker and they have no match in the system, it would lead me to believe the serial attacker (murderer) has no record, never been arrested, never been caught before.
The attacker appears to be targeting mostly middle-aged women, who live alone, creeping into their homes or yards and sneaking up behind them. He strikes them in the head, usually binds them with cords or rope he finds in their homes, then grabs cash, credit cards, jewelry and electronics.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Criminal Investigations Bureau at 941-861-4900 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS (8477), or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com or via text message by texting TIP109 plus a message to CRIMES (274637).