Philadelphia Police Hunt 'Kensington Strangler'

Police: One suspect may be behind several attacks in Philly neighborhood.

ByABC News
December 8, 2010, 2:39 PM

Dec. 8, 2010 — -- Philadelphia police are on the hunt for a suspect -- dubbed the "Kensington Strangler" by the local media -- who may be behind a slew of assaults in the area over the past several months, including at least two deaths.

"We have a predator who's out there," homicide division Capt. James Clark told ABC News' Philadelphia affiliate WPVI. "We know for a fact that he has sexually assaulted and killed two individuals. When the DNA comes back, we'll find out if he's done any more than this."

There have been several sexual assaults in the 14,000-person neighborhood of Kensington in the last two months -- three of which police believe are connected to the killings.

Police also are looking into whether additional assaults in the area might be linked.

The latest potential victim, a young woman, was discovered dead Tuesday night in an abandoned home, but it was unclear if her death was a homicide.

"There is some slight bruising around the neck area," Clark told reporters of the most recent death. "That's why the homicide unit picked it up and we are taking a look at it. However, we cannot definitively say if it's going to be a murder or if it's going to be by the same individual or not."

Two women told police they were choked into unconsciousness by a slender, soft-spoken attacker. Police released a sketch of the suspect after one of the attacks.

The killer's DNA has been put into a national crime database. So far, it has not come back with any matches to any other crimes, but it is still a work in progress, Clark told WPVI.

Other victims came forward, police said, but not until weeks after the attacks when it was not possible to perform DNA testing.