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TAYLORSVILLE MOLESTER IS STILL AT LARGE

Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies still haven't caught the man who molested two young girls as they walked to a Taylorsville elementary school.

Last Friday morning the two girls, ages 9 and 11, were molested as they walked to Arcadia Elementary, 3461 W. 4850 South. The younger girl was assaulted first as she walked with a friend, said detective Teri Sommers.The girl told police a man jogged past them and they moved out of his way. A few minutes later the same man walked back toward them.

The man grabbed the 9-year-old by the wrist, told her not to scream, lifted up her dress and then fondled her, Sommers said. The child and her friend ran to the school and told a teacher, who then called deputies.

The 11-year-old was assaulted about 15 minutes later as she walked with three other children, Sommers said. She told police that the man came up from behind her and grabbed her shoulder. He turned her around and then fondled her, she said.

The girl screamed and the man ran away. All four children went immediately to a neighbor's house, where deputies were summoned.

Sommers said both girls gave very similar descriptions. A man between 30 and 35 years old, white, 5 feet 8 inches with a medium build and medium length brown hair. The girls also said other than a bushy moustache the man was clean shaven. He wore grey sweats and had a "ponchy" stomach.

"I think we're dealing with the same guy," Sommers said.

Deputies are still looking for a man who committed similar crimes in the Kearns area several months ago. Sommers said that suspect's description is different and the attacker is believed to be much younger. The Kearns molester has never been caught, although the attacks have stopped.

In Kearns, the attacks also occurred as the victims walked to school. But the victims ranged from ages 8 to 16. Neither attacker used a weapon and both fondled the girls and then ran away.

The Taylorsville molester hasn't struck since the two attacks Friday. The Kearns molester also attacked his victims in just one morning.

Sommers said in the Taylorsville incidents, detectives showed both girls two photo lineups, but neither could identify their attacker among the pictures.

Sgt. Jim Potter said these types of incidents are especially difficult to investigate because the victims are so distraught and traumatized by the attacks and they are so young. There is also very little physical evidence to link a suspect to the attacks.

Sommers said they continue to get calls about the Taylorsville incidents on a daily basis and will follow up on all of them.

In the meantime, sheriff's deputies have enlisted the help of school officials, parents and neighborhood watch participants in hopes of making the trip to school safer for local children.