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OFFICERS PROBE SIMILARITIES OF ABDUCTIONS FROM HOMES

SHARE OFFICERS PROBE SIMILARITIES OF ABDUCTIONS FROM HOMES

Are the three abductions and sexual assaults of young girls in Salt Lake County related to recent sex crimes in Davis County? Officers from both counties met Thursday to discuss similarities in the cases.

Davis County sheriff's detectives have been investigating a man in connection with the May 29 burglary and sexual assault of a Fruit Heights woman. Meanwhile, Bountiful police are investigating an incident Sunday in which a woman was sexually assaulted in her home.Both attacks have striking similarities to the kidnappings and sexual assaults of two girls in Salt Lake City and one girl in West Valley City.

In the Fruit Heights attack, a woman, 32, was sleeping in her condominium along with her two daughters, ages 12 and 4, when a man entered the home through an unlocked door about 1 a.m., said Davis County sheriff's Sgt. Ted Ellison.

The man went into the woman's room, dragged her into the hallway and sexually abused her before she knocked him down the stairway, Ellison said.

She described her assailant as 6 feet tall and weighing about 150 pounds.

The woman's husband was on a three-day fishing trip with their boys, a fact the attacker apparently knew, said Ellison.

The sheriff's office arrested and jailed a man observed speeding away from the area. No charges have been filed.

Two weeks earlier, on May 11, a man whose description matches the Fruit Heights attacker, entered a home in the area of 11th South and Seventh West in Salt Lake City about 4:30 a.m. He abducted a 7-year-old girl from her bed and took her outside, where he beat her about the face, apparently knocking her unconscious.

There is some indication the girl was also sexually abused.

On June 13, a 9-year-old girl was abducted from her bedroom in her home near Park Street and 17th South. The kidnapper taped her mouth and then took her outside, where he threatened her and forced her to perform a sexual act.

About 4 a.m. last Saturday, a 5-year-old West Valley girl was abducted from her home in the area of 37th South and 33rd West. She was taken to a church parking lot a block away and sexually assaulted.

The next day, about 2:30 a.m., in a Bountiful home, a woman, 33, was sexually assaulted and beaten by a man who entered her home through a window, said Sgt. Ira Beals.

The woman's two children, a 10-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy, were asleep during the attack, which occurred about 2:30 a.m.

Beals said he hasn't ruled out the possibility that the attacker is the same one that has terrorized Salt Lake City and West Valley City.

The physical description, a slender man about 5 feet 10 inches tall, is similar and so was the point of entry, a window, which was the same in the two Salt Lake cases.

What puzzles Beals is the fact that the assailant attacked the woman.

"There are some similarities but in my mind, I'm not totally convinced it's the same guy," said Beals. "He just did not seem interested in the children. He seemed interested in the adult."

But there are several similarities in all the Davis County and Salt Lake County cases:

-The attacks occurred in the early morning hours.

-The women were alone in the homes with at least one young girl. All occupants were asleep at the time of the intrusion.

-The description of each attacker is that of a tall, slender man.

-The attackers entered the homes through unlocked windows and doors.

Salt Lake Police Lt. Steve Chapman said his office is investigating two possible suspects, but declined to give further details.

"We're very concerned about it," said Chapman. "We're working just as hard as we can to solve these things."