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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FBI Called To Create A Profile to Help Arizona Authorities Capture A Serial Predator

The Mesa police are working with FBI profilers to help them capture a serial predator who has been linked to three separate attacks which have resulted in the deaths of at least two women already.
According to a release issued by the Mesa, Arizona police department, public assistance is going to be crucial in capturing a suspect that has been linked, via DNA evidence, to a 2007 kidnapping and sexual assault as well as two unsolved homicides in Mesa.

The most recent attack on August 16, 2007 provided the DNA evidence needed to link the perpetrator to two unsolved homicides, Alisa Marie Beck was killed in November of 2004 and Karen Jane Campbell killed in October of 2007.

The most recent victim was able to escape after she had been kidnapped while walking home, taken to an undisclosed location and sexually assaulted. She was able to run, dressing while fleeing and hailed a cab to take her home where she called authorities.

As a part of that investigation, a sexual assault exam was done, which has now revealed the DNA evidence.

That DNA evidence is what linked the perpetrator to the murders of Beck and Campbell.

Although she could not identify any specific details of her attacker, she said he was 25 to 35 years old, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 11 inches tall and had short dark hair.

According to Mesa police Detective Steve Berry, "We're very concerned. We've got a violent predator out there who abducts these women, and two of them have resulted in homicides and the other two are serious sexual assaults."

The trail began in Mesa with two slayings. The naked body of Karen Jane Campbell, 44, was found on a roadway in October 2007. The partially clothed body of Alisa Marie Beck, 21, was found in an alley in 2004 about five miles from where Campbell's body was left. Both had been strangled.

Police connected the killings in December using DNA evidence. At the time, they said both women had a history of drug abuse and prostitution, and that neither had a home.

A channel 12 news report says that Beck was strangled and Campbell was listed as "homicidal violence", but police have kept details of her killing private to protect the integrity of their investigation.

Although there is no DNA evidence to connect a fourth crime to the perpetrator, police have not ruled out a connection with another killing of Elise Lea Dewakuku, who was found Nov. 1, 2007, in an irrigation canal near 24th Street and McKellips Road in Mesa.

According to Police Chief George Gascón, they are not referring to this suspect as a serial killer despite the connection in the three separate cases and he says, "We have DNA linkage on three incidents, two murders and one assault. At this point we don't want to create more fear than this is going to create. There's no question there's linkage."

He also says there is the possibility that other crimes might be attributed to the same killer.

Police say they have very limited information at this point and are relying on the public's assistance to help them capture the person responsible.

Anyone who may have been in the area of Main and Horne on August 16, 2007 between the hours of noon and 2:00 p.m. and observed a woman struggling or being assaulted is encouraged to contact the Mesa Police Department. We are also seeking to contact the cab driver who picked up the victim and drove her home, or anyone who may have seen an unclothed woman running. We do not have a specific area of town where she fled from her attacker. We do believe that this occurred in Mesa.

Assistance by the public will be crucial in helping the police department in solving these homicides and sexual assault. Anyone with information is asked to call 480-644-5763.

They have also set up a "Silent Witness Hotline" which can be called at 480-WITNESS / 480-948-6377.

You can see the Mesa police press conference about this at East Valley Tribune.