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2014 sex assault suspect focused on area near Phoenix apartments

(Piqsels Photo)

A rapist has been on the prowl near 47th and Glendale avenues for more than six months, according to Phoenix police.

Sgt. Derek Elmore said that the man, who is described as Hispanic or Native American, has assaulted one victim in the area and attempted acts on six others since August 2014.

Elmore said the suspect is in his 20s, between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-10, weighs 140 to 180 pounds and has dark spiky hair.

He has twice been seen in a dark, hooded sweatshirt.

All of the crimes occurred with a mile of an apartment complex at 4748 W. Sierra Vista Drive. And all but one took place at night, while one other was said to have happened around 3 p.m.

“He may live in that area so he may know the area very well,” Elmore said.

“He may live somewhere close and is able to get around and blend in to the surrounding community quite easily.”

Our next case involves the murder of a 53-year-old long-haul truck driver at his home near 45th and Olive avenues in Glendale. It was 10 p.m. on Dec. 7, 2014, when someone rang the doorbell.

“When the victim, Pedro Fernandez, opens the door to greet whoever it is, he’s immediately shot,” Elmore said. “Immediately. As soon as he opens the door.”

He died right there. Witnesses saw a dark-colored, four-door SUV leaving the area at the time of the shooting.

Fernandez and his family moved to Arizona from Cuba in the late 1990s. Investigators said by all accounts he was a good person with good standing in his community.

There were no arguments or beefs going on at that time. They have no leads and are calling it a true “whodunnit.”

Read more about this case.

This article originally appeared Feb. 23, 2015.

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