Thursday, April 24, 2003

DNA leads to rape arrest

Police: Serial attacks involved

By Jane Prendergast and Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A man suspected of being a serial rapist who has been attacking elderly women for a decade has been captured through the use of DNA evidence, Cincinnati police said Wednesday.

Investigators took DNA from a cigarette Timothy Ferguson threw on the ground last month and used it to link him to the rapes of women ages 63 to 86, according to court documents detailing a search a week ago of his house in Pleasant Ridge.

Hamilton County sheriff's deputies arrested Ferguson, 43, of Fernview Avenue, on charges of rape and aggravated burglary.

He is accused of breaking into a woman's apartment on Losantiville Avenue Sept. 15 and raping her. He is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a half-million dollars bail.

The documents do not say how many women were attacked.

Last year the Hamilton County Coroner's Office crime lab linked a series of rapes.

Sgt. Ken Wells found Ferguson earlier this month while canvassing the area where the rapes happened. Ferguson was smoking a cigarette at the time and Wells picked it up.

On April 16, the crime lab identified the DNA from the series of rapes as Ferguson's and he was arrested.

In two cases the attacks "became very violent," according to the search warrant request.

Victims described their attacker as wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and a blue jacket. In the search of Ferguson's home, officers seized jewelry, a black ski mask and two gray hooded sweatshirts, among other items.

Jim Hannah contributed. E-mail or

Sneezing, wheezing worse this year
City schools dropped lead inspections
Flower show has a winner with its new Coney venue

Adopt all reforms or none, Luken tells council
DNA leads to rape arrest
Trusts ensure future of disabled
Obituary: Michael Joseph Curro
Bengals' Lewis addresses NAACP
Tristate A.M. Report

PULFER: Laci Peterson
KORTE: City Hall
HOWARD: Some Good News

MU raises tuition, switches to one rate
Do-it-yourselfers discover human skull amid debris
Butler computer links long overdue
Teen indicted in attack on Y literacy tutor
Exchange teachers on tour
Lebanon council bails on new sidewalks
Butler Republican fund-raiser features Fox roast
Amelia senior wins new car for safe driving

Ohio GOP senator stands firm as block to Bush cut
As governor, Voinovich watched the bottom line
Use of eminent domain blasted
College students who died in arson are remembered
Ohio Moments
Ohio pushes for cleanup of waste at closed plant
Can DNA testing solve '30s mystery?

Attorney: Accused priest in Canada
Newport had to destroy neighborhood to save it
Airport noise complaints up as tests continue