RENO, Nev. (AP) A 19-year-old college student missing since she was abducted nearly a month ago was strangled by a serial rapist who has attacked at least two other women and may strike again, Reno police said Saturday.
An autopsy confirmed that a dead woman found Friday in a brush-covered field near a business park was Brianna Denison and that she died of strangulation, Reno Deputy Police Chief Jim Johns said.
Her body had been in the field for more than a week about 8 miles from the house where she last was seen early Jan. 20 at the edge of the University of Nevada, Reno, he said.
"I would say this is a serial rapist," Johns said at a news conference. "We have two, probably three (cases) linked through DNA."
Based on partial descriptions from previous victims, police have described the suspect as a white male between ages 28 and 40 and at least 5 feet 6, with a long face and brown hair. He was believed to have no accent or regional dialect.
The killer's familiarity with the city suggests he likely lives in Reno, Johns said, adding that he believes the "chances are very good" they will catch him.