Las Vegas police are searching for a man who violently attacked two women in the central valley this month. One of the women was sexually assaulted.
Lt. Rob Lundquist said during a Thursday afternoon news conference that police are seeking help identifying and locating a black man between the ages of 18 and 26 who weighs between 130 pounds and 150 pounds. The man's height is between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches.
Lundquist oversees the department's sexual assault detail. In two separate incidents, he said, the suspect attacked two women walking alone in the night and early morning.
"We are concerned, 'Is this a violent predator that is going to continue on with this?' "
Both attacks happened within a mile of a recent double slaying at 1016 Robin St. Police have not ruled out a connection between the attacks on the women and the double slaying, which occurred inside a family home.
The first attack occurred on April 15 near Vegas and Tonopah drives. A 50-year-old woman was sexually assaulted about 2 a.m. Police recovered the suspect's Cleveland Indians baseball cap.
Lundquist said the woman noticed a man following her. She ran from him but was caught. Once captured, the suspect pulled her into a desert area where the sexual assault occurred. He then fled on foot.
On Monday, eight days later, a 30-year-old woman was attacked near Rancho Drive and Bonanza Road. The woman was hit in the head with an object but was able to fight off the perpetrator.
During the late evening attack, the suspect tried to pull the woman into a desert area, but she fought him off and fled.
"We do believe there is a high probability these two events are linked," Lundquist said.
He urged people not to walk alone late at night or in the early morning. If you have no choice, he suggested carrying a cellphone or letting a second party know your whereabouts.
During the news conference, police made no mention of the double slaying reported on April 16 at a Robin Street home, near Washington Avenue and Rancho Drive.
An investigation into the killings of 38-year-old Ignacia "Yadira" Martinez and her 10-year-old daughter, Karla Martinez, continued Thursday.
Law enforcement sources told the Review-Journal that Karla had been raped.
The family's patriarch, Arturo Martinez, was severely beaten. He was listed in critical condition.
He has not been ruled out as a possible suspect because he has been unable to tell detectives his side of the story.
Investigators do not believe Arturo Martinez was behind the slayings, sources said.
The family's two other children, boys ages 9 and 4, were spared in the attack.
Officials said the Martinez's 1,329 square-foot home is a "complex crime scene." Police said investigators have methodically combed the inside of the residence to collect the physical evidence that was left behind.
One source who viewed the Martinez home called it "one of the most horrific crime scenes we've seen in the past decade."
Investigators learned of the slayings April 16 after the 9-year-old Martinez boy walked into Hoggard Elementary School about 8:40 a.m. and told school officials his mother and sister were dead. Police have not definitively said when the killings occurred.
After the news conference Thursday afternoon, Lundquist said police have not ruled out a link between the attacks on the women and the double slaying.
"I don't know what they have in Homicide; I'm not privy to their investigation," Lundquist said. "There's no definitive thing to show that connection, but we wouldn't rule anything out. We will look at everything."
Lundquist said the weapon used in the Monday attack on a woman was likely not a claw hammer, the weapon believed to have been used in the Martinez slayings.
He believes a rock or a brick was likely used in the sexual assault case.
Police spokesman Bill Cassell said it's too early to determine whether any connection exists between the assaults and the double homicide. Like Lundquist, he said: "We look at every possibility."
Anyone with information on the attacks is asked to call the Metropolitan Police Department's sexual assault detail at 828-3307, or Crime Stoppers at 385-5555.