HEREFORD — For more than two decades law enforcement called their elusive suspect the East Valley Rapist, an individual who they say had sexually assaulted women in Bisbee, Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler. Tuesday afternoon after 22 years of searching, investigators caught their man in Hereford at a house on Jaxel Road.
The suspect, 57-year-old John Daly III, is a former Border Patrol agent who recently retired. He is facing charges on at least four of eight rapes that investigators said occurred between 1999 and 2001 in Bisbee, Mesa and Gilbert, investigators said.
In each of the attacks, police said Daly entered the victims’ residences, blindfolded them and raped them.
A statement released Tuesday evening by Mesa Police shows that Daly was identified as the possible suspect in February via DNA samples that were developed through the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. In April, after testing the DNA, it was found that Daly was linked to two rapes, one in Mesa and one in Gilbert. Additionally, police were able to determine that Daly had lived in the areas where the rapes had occurred.
After the DNA link surfaced in April, investigators from Bisbee, Mesa, Gilbert and Chandler began comparing information on their respective cases and conducting interviews. The FBI assisted, as did the Border Patrol, Mesa Police said in the release.
While all eight cases shared similar suspect behavior and patterns, only three shared suspect DNA, Mesa Police said. When Daly was arrested Tuesday, he was charged with three cases in Mesa and Gilbert. Bisbee investigators will be filing their charges, as well, for a total of four, Mesa Police officials said.
The remaining four incidents “require additional investigative efforts prior to charging,” the Mesa Police release says.
The agencies involved in the investigation and the arrest include the Mesa, Bisbee, Sierra Vista, Chandler and Gilbert police departments; the FBI; the Border Patrol; the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office; and the U.S. Marshal’s Arizona WANTED Violent Offender Task Force.
Mesa Police officials are asking anyone who has information regarding Daly to call 480-644-2211.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.