DNA links 2 East Valley slayings, sexual assault - East Valley Tribune: News

DNA links 2 East Valley slayings, sexual assault

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Posted: Monday, May 5, 2008 11:16 am | Updated: 9:43 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

He brazenly abducted a woman in broad daylight, haphazardly discarded two bodies on Mesa streets and at one point even took a victim into a house.

Click on the map for a larger view of the attack locations
East Valley Tribune map by Gabriel Utasi

VIDEO: Watch Mesa police press conference

VIDEO: Mesa police link 2 unsolved homicides

VIDEO: Watch Nicole Beyer's report

But a possible serial killer -- who also carelessly left his DNA on each victim -- has somehow eluded police since 2004.

On Monday, police announced that the November 2004 strangulation of 21-year-old Alisa M. Beck, the October killing of 44-year-old Karen Jane Campbell and the sexual assault and kidnap of a Mesa pedestrian are linked.

"Last week the forensic evidence showed a match in these cases," said Mesa police Chief George Gascón during a news conference.

Investigators discovered the cases were related through CODIS, the national DNA archive, which contains the DNA of known felons and criminals who have left genetic material on victims.

But while the link is helping detectives focus their investigation, police said they have no suspects and few clues.

One woman is the only known person who survived an encounter with the killer. The 47-year-old was pulled into a white, four-door car about 1:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 in the area of Main Street and Horne as she was walking home. She was driven to a residence and sexually assaulted before somehow escaping - naked - and flagging down a taxi.

Detective Steve Berry, police spokesman, said the woman doesn't know where she was taken and couldn't give enough of a description for police to make a composite sketch.

"You've got to remember this is a very disorienting situation," Berry said.

Police said they are hoping the cabdriver could help narrow down a location.

"Those things would be crucial, to at least know what part of town," Berry said.

Police are combing through files, working with other agencies and FBI profilers and awaiting DNA results to find out if there are other victims, Gascón said.

The only available description of the killer is he's 25 to 35 years old, 5-foot-6 to 5-foot-11 with short, dark hair.

In the case of the woman who was abducted near Main Street and Horne, local business employees didn't call 911 despite hearing a woman screaming.

America Medina, 25, who works in a nail salon, said she heard screeching tires and a woman yelling the afternoon of Aug. 17 but was too busy to look out the window. Tania Cardenis, 20, who works in a video store, also heard screams but said she wasn't alarmed because crime is common in the area.

Police ask anyone with information to call (480) 644-5763.

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