LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A man arrested in Colorado is suspected of drugging and raping multiple women across the southwest over the past 15 years. Lubbock police believe three unsolved rape cases may be linked to those crimes.
Robert Bruce, 47, is in a Colorado jail for attempting to blow up a police officer's home the morning he was scheduled to testify against Bruce on an unrelated misdemeanor charge. It is because of that arrest New Mexico authorities were able to use D-N-A to link Bruce to rapes near the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque.
NewsChannel 11's Ann Wyatt Little has been following this developing news and reports on where Lubbock fits into this case.
Lubbock Police Detectives are evaluating evidence from three unsolved rape cases. They say the 2005 cases, at the time, appeared to possibly be connected but police did not have a firm lead on a suspect. Monday they announced that they believe there are links between those three open cases and crimes in other cities.
"We are willing to say we believe they are connected because of similarities," announced Lubbock Police Captain Greg Stevens at Monday's press conference. The three state crime spree spanned 15 years and may have been Hub City victims. An arrest made several weeks ago in Colorado prompted authorities to contact law enforcement in New Mexico. Albuquerque Police Department Spokesman John Walsh says detectives then matched a D-N-A sample from Bruce to unsolved rapes near the University of New Mexico campus.
Officials held a press conference in Colorado Monday asking other victims to come forward. "This perpetrator used chemical to disable victims. If anyone with a similar situation should come forward so we can look into the case," says Pueblo Police Chief Jim Billings.
That chemical is one similarity Cpt. Stevens says exists between their three open cases and those in Albuquerque, Austin and possibly Colorado. "The victims are college aged students. The suspects entered or lay in waiting in the victim's homes and the victims are disabled by chemicals," says Cpt. Stevens about the similarities.
LPD says this is still an ongoing investigation. "I'm not naming a suspect in our crimes. We don't name and are not at liberty to put out names unless an arrest is made and charges are filed," says Cpt. Stevens.
Cpt. Stevens says detectives will continue to process evidence. "We will be coordinating with other agencies quite extensively in this investigation and may travel to other locations. Obviously when we have three similar cases here and others around the state, we're always looking out for them," adds Cpt. Stevens about the importance of following leads.
Bruce faces three charges including attempted murder in Colorado. He is being held on a $3 million bond.
Lubbock detectives will be working with other law enforcement agencies across state lines.
If a case is presented to the Lubbock District Attorney, Bruce will first face charges in Colorado, then New Mexico and eventually will make his way to Texas.
©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.