360 WEST RUBY STREET | TAVARES, FLORIDA 32778 | 352.343.2101




Detectives with the Lake County Sheriff's Office are releasing a newly-created composite sketch from a rape case that is more than a decade old in hopes of generating new leads in the investigation.

The rape occurred on the evening of October 21, 2007 when the unknown male suspect entered the home of a 65-year-old woman who lived alone in the Tavares/Leesburg area. The suspect forced the victim to perform sex acts on him, and violently sexually assaulted her for two hours before leaving on foot. DNA evidence was collected from the scene in 2007; however, no match has ever been made.

Detectives recently sought the services of Parabon NanoLabs (Parabon), a DNA technology company in Virginia that specializes in DNA phenotyping (the process of predicting physical appearance and ancestry from unidentified DNA evidence). Law enforcement agencies use the company's Snapshot DNA Phenotyping Service (Snapshot) to narrow suspect lists and generate leads in criminal investigations.

Using DNA evidence from this investigation, Snapshot produced trait predictions for the associated person of interest (POI). Individual predictions were made for the subject's ancestry, eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, and face shape. By combining these attributes of appearance, a Snapshot composite was produced depicting what the POI may have looked like at 25 years old and with an average body-mass index (BMI) of 22. These default values were used because age and BMI cannot be determined from DNA.

It is important to note that Snapshot composites are scientific approximations of appearance based on DNA, and are not likely to be exact replicas of appearance. Environmental factors such as smoking, drinking, diet, and other non-environmental factors e.g., facial hair, hairstyle, scars, etc. cannot be predicted by DNA analysis and may cause further variation between the subject's predicted and actual appearances.

The suspect's likeness, created from his DNA profile, can now be viewed (click on camera icon below) as the Lake County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Team is seeking the public's help in identifying the man responsible. The suspect was possibly in his late teens or early 20's in 2007; therefore, he would likely be in his 30's today. There is evidence he may have been a drug user in 2007. He is biracial. Specifically, his ancestry is roughly an equal mix of Northern European and African American. He most likely has light brown skin, green or hazel eyes, reddish brown hair, and some freckling on his face.

Anyone with information on the identity of this person can contact Sgt. Tammy Dale at 352-343-9529; to be eligible for a cash reward, tipsters can call Central Florida CRIMELINE at 1-800-423-TIPS and can remain anonymous.

Associated Files:
 Image File - 0.24MB  

Released by John Herrell

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