Nationwide search for serial rapist believed to have killed 12 - WNEM TV 5

Nationwide search for serial rapist believed to have killed 12

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -

Authorities are putting out a nationwide search for a serial rapist who is believed to have killed at least 12 people.

California officials are hoping a big reward will lead them to a serial criminal known as the East Area Rapist.

The FBI and Sacramento County officials announced they were offering $50,000 for a tip helping identify and arrest a suspect.

They believe the East Area Rapist struck 36 times in the county during the 1970's and continued his killing spree throughout southern California.

Victims ranged in age from 13 to 41-years-old.

“Even though these crimes happened four decades ago and some of them even longer, long before I even joined the sheriff's department, I can tell you that from the very first days in the department, this case has been talked about, has been worked on,” said Sheriff Scott Jones. “I can tell you that we have detectives that have long since retired that have still very active interest in this case, trying to get more information and more insight. But it really wasn't until this working group got together five or six years ago and really started connecting the dots not only here, but around the state.”

In all, they believe the man is behind at least 12 murders, 45 rapes and 150 burglaries in several counties throughout California.

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