A sexual predator has eluded Los Angeles police since 1996 while committing more than two dozen rapes and attempted assaults. Now, he's struck again.
The man has been dubbed the "Teardrop" rapist for a tear tattoo on his face. He has recently been linked by DNA evidence to a sexual assault last November on a 15-year-old girl heading to school in south L.A., the Los Angeles Times reported.
The revelation on Tuesday stunned many because it's the predator's first known attack since 2005, according to the Associated Press.
Police said the attacker has repeated a clear pattern in his crimes against the 28 women and girls. The victims were walking alone in the early morning when a man brandishing a gun or knife forced them into a secluded area.
It's unknown why there was a 6-year gap between crimes, but police said it's possible the serial rapist had been locked up for something else, ABC News reported.
DNA evidence connects 11 of the attacks to the wanted man. In the cases without that type of proof, police say the crimes mirror the others, making it extremely likely they were perpetrated by the same person.
Nine sketches of the suspect were released during a press conference with the LAPD and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Police said the suspect is a Latino man between 27 and 40 years old, according ABC News. He is between 5-foot-2-inches and 6-foot tall, while his weight falls between 130 and 200 pounds.
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Some women have said the attacker had a tattoo under one or both of his eyes, but the most recent victim didn't see the marking, police said, adding that it's possible the tattoos have been removed.
The L.A. city council offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the rapist's capture, radio station KPCC announced.
Anyone with any information should call 1-877-527-3247, a number specifically reserved for the "Teardrop" crime.