Law enforcement agencies are intensifying efforts to locate an individual suspected of attempting to abduct three women in separate incidents near the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.
Two of the victims have been identified as university students, both subjected to assaults during the incidents. According to CBS affiliate KOLD, the third victim is also a student at the university.
The Tucson Police Department revealed that the abduction attempts occurred on different days and in various off-campus locations. The most recent incident, reported on Sunday before 6 p.m., involved a University of Arizona student who informed officers that a man approached her from behind, placed his arm around her waist, and assaulted her. Fortunately, she managed to scream, prompting the assailant to flee. The student did not sustain injuries.
Following this incident, another victim reported to the Tucson Police’s sexual assault unit that she was followed by a driver matching the suspect’s description on Wednesday morning, Dec. 6. This victim provided an updated description of both the suspect and his vehicle to investigators.
The suspect is described as a man with a dark complexion, possibly Hispanic, standing between 5 feet 10 inches and 6 feet tall, with a medium to heavyset build and a “close buzz cut hair.” The suspect was spotted driving a dark purplish four-door hatchback or crossover vehicle with a dented front bumper, tinted windows, and no front license plate. KOLD identified the vehicle as a dark blue 2000s Toyota Camry or Toyota Corolla.
An earlier incident on Dec. 8 involved a University of Arizona student reporting being followed by a man in his car just two blocks from campus. The suspect stopped, grabbed the victim from behind, but fled when she screamed and dropped to the ground.
Tucson police are leading the investigation, with university police assisting in the search. Detectives are awaiting forensic evidence after interviewing the latest victim and conducting an area canvass.
During a news conference, Chris Dennison, Tucson’s assistant police chief, urged the community to participate in the police department’s open camera registry, allowing residents and business owners to voluntarily register surveillance cameras. The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service have also joined the search for the suspect, according to KOLD.