[In the player above, watch previous coverage of genealogy DNA testing being used to catch violent criminals even decades after the crime.]
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — State investigators are re-examining decades-old sexual assault cases involving school-age girls in Northeast Ohio, and they need the public’s help in bringing the suspect to justice.
In each case, the suspect was a white man appearing to be about 30 years old, wearing sunglasses and sometimes carrying a clipboard, and driving a black or silver mid-sized sedan.
He posed as a salesman or repairman and targeted girls who has just returned home on the school bus, according to the release. He would knock on the victim’s door, then ask for directions or information on others living the home, “likely to determine whether the victim was alone,” the release reads.
“He then asked to make a phone call and forced his way inside,” it reads.
The victims were between 11 years old and 18 years old.
Attorney General Dave Yost is now asking for new tips from the public on the attacks in Northeast Ohio.
“This predator struck multiple counties in at least two states — behavior that suggests more victims might still be out there,” Yost is quoted in a news release. “We urge them and anyone else with knowledge of similar attacks to contact our investigators. Your tips could solve this vicious crime spree.”
The similarities between each case lead investigators to believe the same man is responsible for all of them.
Investigators think the cold cases are tied to another string of similar sexual assaults in Pennsylvania around that time. Pennsylvania State Police have since identified 61-year-old Daniel Danzinger as a suspect in one of those cases. Danzinger is a Florida resident who lived in Ohio at the time of the crimes, according to the release.
Investigators used forensic genealogy technology match DNA from the crime scene to Danzinger. He was arrested Oct. 2 and is awaiting extradition from Pennsylvania, according to the release.
Anyone with information on Danzinger or the assaults in Northeast Ohio is urged to call 1-855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6466).