Lemonade Stand DNA Matches Glenpool Rape Suspect
TULSA, Oklahoma - A man tried to lure two young girls into his car from their lemonade stand in March. Those girls saved the cup the man used that day and gave it to police.
Police got a hit off the DNA on the cup.
It's a match for a man who kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old Glenpool girl last year. Police never caught the man who raped the little girl last year, but, they did have his DNA and put it into the system.
When they entered the DNA of this man at the lemonade stand, it was a match. So they know there's a predator out there but they still don't know who he is or where he lives.
These little girls set up a lemonade stand in their driveway in March. They didn't know how close they came to a predator. They did know something was off when a man pulled up next to them in a tan or gold, 2007-08 Nissan Maxima and tried to talk them into getting into his car, offering to take them to a studio and take their pictures.
There is video of the car is from a neighbor's security camera. Even when the man gave them back the cup he'd used, they were careful accepting it.
"We stretched out our hand because we thought he would try to grab us," one girl said.
The grandmother of one of the girls happened to ask which cup the man used and decided to hang on to it.
"I guess I watch too many crime shows," said Janet Garland, grandmother. "I thought let's save the cup because he took a drink and handed it back to her. I thought we'd save it and give it to police hoping we could get a fingerprint. I never thought about DNA testing or anything like that."
Police didn't get any prints, but, say the DNA on the cup connects this man to another case from January of 2013, when a man kidnapped a 12-year-old girl and drove her to a construction site and raped her, then dumped her back in her Glenpool neighborhood.
That little girl helped police create this composite sketch of the suspect.
The lemonade stand girls gave this description: a white man in his 40s with curly hair, glasses and maybe moles on his face. Police say in addition to the gold Maxima, he could also drive a white Jeep Cherokee.
"The boogeyman is not who our parents told us about. It's our next door neighbor or who sits next to us in church, a guy like that," said Sergeant John Adams, Tulsa Police Department.
"Someone out there saw our story. That we' re looking for a tan or gold Nissan Maxima but thought, 'oh, he would never do that or that's the guy I sit next to in church or school, he would never do that.' That's who the boogeyman is."
They urge everyone who knows someone who matches the suspect and car descriptions to call and let officers discreetly rule out that person or zero in on a suspect. Police are working with the lemonade stand girls to have them also create a composite sketch.
Glenpool and Tulsa police are working together now that they know their cases are linked and there's even a man they're looking for right now, to see if he'll give up a DNA sample.
I'll let you know what happens.