Dallas Police Say DNA Links Suspect to Rapes

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  • DALLAS (AP) — Police are searching for a crime watch volunteer who they say has been connected by DNA to at least four sexual assaults in a South Dallas neighborhood in the past two months.

    Authorities took Van Dralan Dixson, 38, into custody briefly last week and obtained a DNA sample from him, but lacked evidence to bring charges at the time, police Maj. Jeff Cotner said.

    Three arrest warrants issued Monday and another on Saturday charge Dixson with aggravated sexual assault in four attacks in Fair Park, southeast of downtown Dallas. DNA test results from two other attacks were pending, while DNA evidence from two more in the inner-city neighborhood were not available, Cotner said.

    Federal agents were assisting city police in the manhunt, and police have interviewed friends, family, and associates for clues to Dixson’s whereabouts, Cotner said. Dixson’s car was found abandoned in Garland, a northeastern Dallas suburb, and police have sought a warrant to search the vehicle, Cotner said.

    As a crime-watch volunteer, Dixson would patrol the streets several times a week, neighbors said.

    “He just walks every night, all night,” one resident, Billy Washington, told Dallas television station WFAA. “Every time I would look out my window, or out my door, he was walking.”

    Dixson has been part of the area’s neighborhood crime-watch group, the Mill City Community Association, since January. The group’s president, Alendra Lyons, didn’t return messages Monday from The Associated Press.

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