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Fatal fire, rape may be linked

TAYLORSVILLE -- Salt Lake County sheriff's investigators are looking into the possibility that a fatal fire and a rape that occurred nearby might be linked.

Both victims had their hands bound behind their backs by their assailants, police say. The rape occurred Saturday and the house fire occurred Monday at addresses only a a few blocks apart."We're looking into it. (The bound hands) is a commonality," homicide Sgt. Jerry Townsend said. "At this point, there is no clear indication of a connection, but we're covering all the bases."

Investigators say the two women victims did not know each other.

Autopsy results on Danielle Omer, 46, whose body was found after a Monday morning fire in her home, 4912 S. Bitter Root Drive (3300 West), were still unavailable Wednesday, Townsend said. Medical examiners had not yet determined an exact cause of death, nor had Omer been positively identified.

"It's 99 percent sure. . . . We're tentatively agreeing that it's her because she is missing," Townsend said. "But we are waiting for dental records."

Salt Lake County Fire investigators have ruled the fire in the home was arson and set in multiple locations. Arson dogs brought in to assist the investigation have also confirmed the presence of a liquid accelerant, Salt Lake County Fire Capt. Bill Brass said.

Meanwhile, sex crimes investigators have released a composite drawing of a male suspect they are seeking for the Saturday morning rape of a 27-year-old woman at a residence near 3400 West and 5400 South.

The woman called police just before 5 a.m. to report being raped. She said she had locked her doors before going to bed but that the man had broken into her home and raped her while her three small children slept in nearby bedrooms. The children were not harmed, detective Janet Bell said.

The woman's hands and feet were bound. She was able to get her foot loose, locate her cell phone and call 911 using only her feet, Bell said.

There was no sign of forced entry into the home, Bell said, but one window is broken and boarded up, which may have been the point of entry.

The man is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall and appeared to be about 40 years old, sheriff's deputy Peggy Faulkner said. He had a goatee, was wearing a baseball cap and may also have had a bandana around his neck.

Anyone with information about either crime is asked to contact the sheriff's office with information at 535-5441.