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Sex offender found dead

5-13-2008 Australia:

A MAN linked by his DNA to three sexual assaults and believed responsible for at least six other attacks has been found dead in a burnt-out car near Gympie in Queensland.

Police said the man's body was found in bushland on April 4 - a day after his wife had reported him missing.

On the same day, detectives had visited his Gympie home seeking a voluntary DNA sample which he refused to provide.

He had been identified as a person of interest following an exhaustive review by police of a series of sex offences between 1995 and 2001 in the Gympie area.

They included the sodomy of a 12-year-old boy in 1995, the rape of a 14-year-old girl in 2000 and the rape and attempted rape of six other women aged from 18 to 42.

Three of the offences were linked by a DNA profile and the other six were strongly linked by method of operation, which involved stalking his victims through darkened streets.

Acting Chief Superintendent Alan Bourke said DNA obtained from the remains and the man's personal belongings had been positively matched to the DNA profile of the linked sexual assaults.

"We can confirm that the person responsible for these attacks is now deceased. Gympie detectives will provide the Coroner with a full report into the death," Supt Bourke said.

He said investigations were continuing in regard to other possible offences.

Police began a review of the "Gympie rapist attacks" in 2006 with the help of an FBI-trained analyst.

During the investigation more than 300 men from the Gympie area provided DNA samples but all were excluded. ..more.. by Robyn Ironside

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