Police: DNA from suspect matches that of "East Coast Rapist"

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Capital Land,Emily Babay

Police say DNA testing has confirmed that DNA from a man arrested in Connecticut Friday matches that of the "East Coast Rapist," who is suspected of attacking at least 17 women in four states, the Associated Press reports.

A state police forensics lab confirmed that 39-year-old Aaron H. Thomas' DNA matched DNA material collected from crime scenes, New Haven police Lt. Julie Johnson said at a news conference, the AP reported.

The sexual assaults, which have been linked by DNA evidence, had been taking place along the East Coast since 1997. Attacks have been reported in Virginia, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The most recent was the rape of two teenagers in Dale City, Va., on Halloween night in 2009.

A task force launched a campaign this week to apprehend the rapist, posting the sketches of the suspect on billboards and creating a website, eastcoastrapist.com.

Authorities said a tip this week led them to Thomas.

 

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