Rapes in same downtown loft building eerily similar - KCTV5 News


Rapes in same downtown loft building eerily similar

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The recent rapes of two women in the same downtown Kansas City loft building are eerily similar and could be connected.

Both women were invited to the Grand Boulevard Lofts near 10th Street and Grand Boulevard in the days after Christmas.

For the women who live there, they once felt safe because there are security cameras. To get inside the building, they must have a key or be buzzed in by someone who lives there.

Now, after two reported rapes, they are on alert. 

Warning: Some of the following details are graphic.

The most recent attack happened on Dec. 28 after a 28-year-old woman agreed to meet a man in the building's lobby. 

They had met online earlier and had been texting back and forth. They planned to "hang out," so he let her inside the front doors and led her up to the 15th floor. 

A short time later, neighbors knew something was wrong.

"I asked what happened, and they said they heard a woman screaming in the stairwell screaming, 'Help, help,' and they didn't do anything. They were too afraid to open the door," loft tenant Hannah Griff said.

Griff wishes the people who heard that cry for help would have immediately intervened or at the very least called 911.

The victim told police once she was in the 15th floor stairwell, the attacker grabbed her by her throat. Then pushed her to her hands and knees and raped her. He wore a condom, but it fell off.

The woman convinced the man she had to use the restroom. 

Once inside, she hid the condom containing potential DNA evidence inside paper towels and placed it in a trash can. 

That DNA could prove to be crucial clue.

"Hopefully, that will help them get the person who did it," loft tenant Sheryl Coleman said.

Crime scene investigators who searched the building found the condom exactly where she hid it.

Police checked their records and found a similar rape was reported at the same location just two days before. 

The second victim met her attacker in Westport about a week before she agreed to meet him at the lofts. 

The 26-year-old woman was also taken to the same 15th floor stairwell and raped. In both cases, the suspect told the victims to call him "daddy."

"It worries me. It does. It really does," Griff said. "What really, really strikes me as scary is these are going unsolved."

That's why Griff and others who live in the lofts are paying even more attention to their surroundings, looking for anyone or anything suspicious inside their building.

"It is hard to think that something like that happens. It makes you wonder, is it somebody that lives here that did it? Is it a stranger? If so, how did they get in the building?" Coleman said. "No woman needs to go through that. Nobody has the right to do that to another person."

Police are looking into all of those questions. They are also looking at surveillance video because there are cameras in the lobby. Detectives also collected the phone number used by the man to contact the women.

The suspect is a slim black man with a mustache who wore a NASCAR racing team coat and blue jeans the night of one of the attacks.

Police have questioned one suspect, but so far no charges are filed. 

The loft management company, Sherman Associates, refused to answer KCTV5 News' questions. A spokesperson did say they cannot comment on an ongoing police investigation.

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