Phoenix police say they've had their eye on a suspect in one of the sexual assaults linked to the Baseline Killer since July, when they were checking several leads. This weekend, they identified him as a suspect in the assault, which took place last year in Phoenix.
Although police haven't released the suspect's name, they described him as a black man in his 40s. They say that definitive forensic evidence connected him to the assault.
Police pulled over the suspect's vehicle near his home at 2824 E. Pinchot Ave. in east-central Phoenix and arrested him just after 5 p.m. Wednesday.
The man's home is one block away from the most recent death tied to the serial killer, which occurred June 29 at a car wash at 2924 E. Thomas Road. In that case, 37-year-old Carmen Miranda was killed.
Police say the Baseline Killer is responsible for at least 23 crimes, including rapes, robberies and eight killings.
A neighbor of the suspect, Randy Reyman, 54, has lived in the neighborhood almost 30 years and said, "It doesn't really surprise me much (that) he lived in the area" so close to some of where the attacks occurred.
Police say the Baseline Killer is responsible for at least 23 crimes, including rapes, robberies and eight killings. They believe the string of killings and assaults began Sept. 8, 2005, in Tempe with the death of 19-year-old Georgia Thompson.
A next door neighbor, Su-Ellen Bennett, said the suspect's wife has lived in the area for10 years. Bennett said she's close friends with the couple and they often worked on their lawns together.
Of the arrest, she said, "I'm shocked. I practically talked to him daily."
She added that the man was clean-cut and stuck to a strict routine. He "loves to work on his yard," Bennet said. "He's friendly and sweet, just a low-key jovial guy. He makes good jokes."
She said the man doesn't resemble the police composite sketch of the Baseline Killer.