DNA evidence could break Melbourne rapist, exposer case

Police ask for more tips as they await lab results

By James Sparvero - Reporter

MELBOURNE, Fla. - Melbourne police are hopeful they're getting closer to figuring out who's behind a string of indecent exposures and a rape all in the same neighborhood. 

Authorities first released information of the sex crimes in the Indian River Bluffs neighborhood Sept. 24.

Police said the four incidents occurred in August and September.

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In three instances, police said an unidentified man exposed himself to women.

In another report, police said a man raped a woman in her home.

The manager of the River Palm Hotel on U.S. 1 said it was still dark the morning she saw a man lurking out back.

"And exposed himself to one of our customers who was sitting outside smoking a cigarette," Dorothy Hammack said.

Hammack said by the time the security guard went to check, the man was already gone.

Melbourne police said it appears there have been no further incidents since the fourth one.

"We still don't have the evidence we need to determine whether or not it's one suspect or if this is multiple acts committed by multiple people," Lt. Scott Mostert said.

Police said a possible break could come from the lab.

Police are waiting on DNA results, hopeful forensic evidence will support some of their stronger leads.

So far, investigators said they have received 15 tips, none of which included neighborhood surveillance video.

"We do want to thank everybody for the numerous tips that we've received and we are actively investigating those tips," Mostert said. "We're hoping in a short period of time that we will develop a good suspect."

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call the Melbourne Police Department at 321-608-6731. Anonymous tips can also be reported through Crimeline.

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