Archive for Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Officials continue search for sexual assault suspect

November 4, 2008, 11:08 a.m.

Updated: November 4, 2008, 5:24 p.m.

Authorities continued their search Tuesday for a man suspected of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old in Eudora.

Officers from the Eudora Police Department, Douglas and Leavenworth County sheriff’s deputies and the Kansas Highway Patrol searched Tuesday about two miles north of Eudora for the man.

Late Monday afternoon, a Eudora child reported a sex crime. About 5:30 p.m., a Eudora officer flashed his lights to warn a driver to slow down, but the driver, who police say was the suspect in the sex crime, sped up. The officer pursued the vehicle that went north out of Eudora, crossed railroad tracks on Leavenworth County Road 1 and narrowly missed being hit by an oncoming train.

Eudora Police Chief Greg Dahlem said officers saw the driver lose control of his vehicle just before the train obscured their view. The driver abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Upon finding the vehicle, officers were able to determine the vehicle was registered to the man suspected of the sexual assault.

“Until he crashed, we didn’t know this was our suspect. After that, we put two and two together,” Dahlem said.

Dahlem said the car was totaled, which led them to believe the driver likely was injured.

Officers searched until about 4 a.m. and then resumed the search again by foot and air at about 10 a.m. Tuesday. Police are investigating claims that the suspect may be connected to two more sexual assault victims.

Dahlem also notified the Bonner Springs Police Department that the suspect has family in the area.

The suspect has been convicted in the past of several crimes — mostly burglary — and he was on parole at them time of Monday’s alleged incident. He had been in and out of correctional facilities from 2002 to 2007.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Eudora Police, 542-3121, or the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, 841-0007.

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