Local, Federal Authorities Searching for Serial Rapist

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are asking for the public’s help to crack the case of a serial rapist and killer who has attacked four women, killing one, in the last 16 years.

“So all four of these cases are linked by DNA and it’s within a half-mile radius of one another,” said Cleveland Police Det. Christina Cottom.

Police said this man first struck in 1996 when he kidnapped a woman from East 93rd Street and Marah.

He raped her then shot her in the neck, leaving her for dead.

She survived, and was able to describe him for a police sketch which shows a distinct scar on his cheek.

“This male was smoking wet, which is marijuana laced with PCP. He was listening to reggae music. The vehicle he was in was either a Buick Regal or Monte Carlo, white in color,” said Cmdr. James Chura of the Cleveland Police Department.

Police said in February of 1997 he raped and murdered Maxine Pratt, who was last seen alive at her boyfriend’s home.

Pratt’s body was found on East 87th Street in what can only be described as an industrial junkyard.

Police said she had head trauma and had been run over.

Her body was found underneath a tractor trailer.

This year, DNA also linked the same man to a 1998 rape.

Police said a woman was walking on Martin Luther King Boulevard and Lamontier when the man attacked and raped her behind a church.

The man’s most recent known attack was in December 2010.

An 18-year-old girl was waiting at the bus stop on East 93rd Street and Kinsman Avenue, when the man attacked and raped her behind a building.

“This, like many cases that we all face throughout our career, we need the public’s help, and this is one of those cases,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen Anthony, of the Cleveland Office.

Investigators note there are two key things about this man: he smokes ‘wet’ or PCP-laced cigarettes, and he has a large scar on his cheek – it could be on the right or left side.

“The scar is going to be something that folks are going to notice,” said Cleveland Police Det. Sharon Johnson.

There is a $10,000 reward for information leading to the man’s arrest.

Police believe he is familiar with the east side neighborhood where he struck, and may have lived there or had relatives who live there.

However, they said the man may be living in another area now.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Det. Christina Cottom at (216) 623-5630.