Investigators are hoping her description will lead them to the suspect, but they are also gathering potential D-N-A evidence, and some times that can be the key. But solving these crimes also takes good, old fashioned police work.
It doesn't quite happen like you see in the CSI dramas, cases quickly wrapped up in an hour episode by forensic experts. In the real world it's a more of a partnership. Renee Romero, Supervising Criminalist,
"We provide a piece of that puzzle."
Sometimes it's the key missing piece, and If DNA collected at the crime scene can be matched to a growing data base of convicted felons, it can even nail a suspect in a very cold case. It did just that this week with the arrest of Jesus Silvas-Ojeda....a DNA sample taken after his conviction on a burglary charge matched one gathered in a year old rape case.
As the data base of DNA samples gathered from convicted felons grows, it's expected there will be more cold hits from that data base. But there's a problem...a backlog of 2-thousand or so DNA samples from convicted felons waiting to be processed and entered into this data base.
It's a matter of manpower and funding. It's not the quick, glamorous work you see on TV. Building that data base is tedious, time consuming work. Washoe County's crime lab has built a national reputation and was a pioneer in this work, but people at the lab say they simply need more people. In the meantime they'll continue to build the data base and who knows...last night's rapist may already be there. If so, investigators might be able to wrap this case up quickly. But his sample might also be in that backlog, waiting for lab work, while he's still out on the streets.
In any case, physical evidence from last night's assault will get priority treatment at the lab, but at this point, Bradshaw says investigators best bet is another element of the crime solving team, the public.
The rapist is out there and he should have a bite mark on his right cheek. Investigators are hoping someone will recognize him and call the Reno Police Department or Secret Witness which has posted a two thousand dollar reward for information leading to his arrest and prosecution. Their number is 322-4900. Callers can remain anonymous.