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POLICE STEP UP EFFORTS IN PURSUING LEADS

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Salt Lake County sheriff's detectives continued running down numerous leads Friday in the abduction and sexual assault Wednesday of a 14-year-old girl.

There are no suspects, but detectives are intensifying their efforts because the kidnapper appears to be intensifying his attacks in the Kearns area. However, police are not ruling out the possibility of a copycat.Of seven cases in which Salt Lake County girls have been kidnapped from their homes and molested since April, four have been in Kearns. Three attacks have been in the same neighborhood.

In the latest attack, the intruder, unlike in previous attacks, entered a home in which a man resides. Detectives are hoping that someone will have seen the kidnapper and will call police.

"People have got to be seeing him," said one investigator, who did not want to be identified. "It's just a matter of the right person calling in with the right information."

Police say the individual is likely an experienced criminal - possibly a burglar and child abuser - who gets "high" by entering homes through unlocked doors or windows during early morning hours while the occupants are asleep.

"He takes a lot of risks," the detective said. "The biggest is going into the home. That's got to be the most exciting time for him . . . It would be great if a homeowner caught him with a .45."

Here's a rundown of the risks he takes and the crimes he has committed: -April: A young girl in the area of 3800 West and 5800 South awoke to find a man beside her bed who asked if he could touch her. She screamed and he fled.

-May 11: A 7-year-old girl was sleeping in the living room of her home near 1100 South and 700 West when a man entered through a window, took her into the back yard and knocked her unconscious. There was evidence she had been sexually abused.

-June 13: A sleeping 9-year-old girl was abducted from her home near 540 East and 1700 South. The assailant took her across the street and sexually assaulted her.

-June 17: A 5-year-old girl was abducted from her bed in the area of 3700 South and 3300 West. Armed with a knife, the kidnapper took her to a nearby church parking area and sexually assaulted her.

-July 9: A 12-year-old girl sleeping in her home in the area of 3800 West and 5800 South was abducted, taken down the street and sexually assaulted.

-Sept. 19: A 12-year-old girl asleep in her home in the area of 4100 West and 6000 South was abducted from her home by a man who took her down the street, forced her to lie down on the lawn and sexually assaulted her.

-Oct. 4: A 14-year-old girl was abducted from her home near 4100 West and 5000 South. The intruder took her three houses away and sexually molested her.

The description of the attacker in the two most recent cases is almost identical: a Caucasian, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, a muscular build and dark brown, curly hair. In the attacks, he wore blue gym trunks and a blackish-gray sweater or navy blue sweatshirt. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office, 535-7441, or the Salt Lake police, 799-3000.