San Diego police released a sketch Wednesday of a serial sex assault suspect accused of targeting and groping young girls in Mira Mesa over the course of several months.
The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said at least five sexual assaults happened between Sept. 1, 2016 and Jan. 24, 2017 at four locations including: 9000 Mira Mesa Blvd.; 9200 Hillery Dr.; Mesa Village Apartments at 10500 Caminito Baywood.
The sex assault on Hillery Drive happened near Walker Elementary School.
Police said all of the cases happened in the early morning hours and are believed to be linked to the same man. The SDPD hopes the composite sketch – drawn after the Mira Mesa Boulevard assault – will help investigators identify the suspect.
The man in the sketch is described by police as having an average build, standing between 5-foot-1 to 5-foot-5. He’s likely in his late 20s to late 30s, with a bushy mustache. Police said he speaks Spanish and English and has a Spanish accent. In some incidents, he was reported to be wearing a baseball cap with the “California Republic” bear logo on the front.
SDPD Lt. Paul Phillips told NBC 7 all of the suspect's victims are minors. Police believe there may be additional victims out there who have not yet reported their cases.
The case rattled residents in Mira Mesa including parents and guardians of children.
Grandmother Lyn Hertley told NBC 7 this is concerning, especially since her grandkids go to school near the crime sites.
"I would worry," she said. "But that's why we don't let our children go [walk] by themselves. We always accompany them."
The investigations are ongoing; officials with the SDPD’s Child Abuse Unit are taking the investigative lead on each case. Anyone with information can reach the unit at (619) 531-2260 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.