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.

[IMAGE]
Ferguson
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 jprendergast@enquirer.com or sturco@enquirer.com




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