TULSA Police continue to look for a suspect in a May nursing home rape

Thursday, August 9th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

An update on the search for a man who raped a nursing home patient. It happened on May 25th in South Tulsa, police have used DNA testing to help them rule out dozens of people.

Someone broke in a window of the Southern Hills Nursing home back in May and grabbed an 85-year-old woman from her bed, raped her, then, left her lying in the middle of the street. The woman has Alzheimer’s so, solving the case will depend on police work. So, officers started with people familiar with the nursing home and asked them for DNA samples. Tulsa Police Detective Rod Russo, Sex Crimes: "We took a sample of employees and had them tested, then, we looked at ex-employees and had them tested, but, we still have some results out because that many swamps the lab, so we're waiting on the results of those."

So far, detectives have done DNA testing on fifty people and interviewed each of those as well. To this point, none of the DNA is a match for the semen found in the victim. That certainly widens the circle of suspects. Russo: "That's how we start, we start inside then, keep widening the area. So, we'll be checking burglary reports in that area and turn to other law enforcement agencies for help. Maybe something like this has happened in Oklahoma City.”

The lack of DNA match could point to this being a stranger, and stranger rapes are quite rare in the city of Tulsa. So, solving it may take more than science. Russo: "What would help are people talking about this case again. Call Crimestoppers if you know something, we them talking." Police say in this case, time may be on their side, they have plenty of evidence from the scene to compare with suspects and as the days go by, people tend to become more relaxed about talking about what happened and who did it.