New Orleans Police Department- Public Information Office
NOPD Trying to Put a Name to the Face of an Alleged Rapist and Possible Murderer
(August 7, 2012)- NOPD’s Cold Case Unit is asking the public if they can identify a man who has been linked to the sexual assaults of two women through DNA testing. In April of 2000, the suspect allowed one of his victims to leave after forcibly raping her, and now through DNA analysis, this same suspect has been directly linked to a sexual assault and murder that occurred in 1992.
20-year-old Jennifer Altemeier had been left for dead just blocks away from Gallier Hall on Mardi Gras day, March 3rd, 1992. Her body was found in a parking area in the 900 block of Lafayette Street. The Coroner’s Office determined she had been strangled.
At the time she was discovered, DNA analysis had not yet taken hold. However, detectives along with the Coroner’s Office collected forensic evidence.
In April of 2000, eight years following the brutal murder of Ms. Altemeier, a husband and wife were walking around the French Quarter after attending a play at the Saenger Theater. They had trouble finding their car, and separated while looking for it. The wife was then approached by a young black male who claimed he worked for the Vieux Carre. The victim explained she was looking for her car and the young male insisted on helping her. He then led the victim to a second male (between 35 and 40-years-old), who was in a light-blue Chevrolet Impala, and claimed to be security for the Vieux Carre. The woman got into the car with him and within moments, the man pulled a gun on her, took her jewelry and then sexually assaulted her. After the assault, the suspect let the woman go, and she immediately reported the incident to police. A sexual assault kit was administered and evidence collected.
Last month, NOPD detectives in the Cold Case Unit, who have been clearing a backlog of sexual assault cases with DNA analysis conducted by Louisiana State Police and Marshall University, got back the results of Jennifer Altemeier’s evidence. Those results were entered into CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). Subsequently, a match was made between the DNA in Altemeier’s case and the DNA collected in the rape case from 2000.
Last week, detectives contacted the surviving victim of the 2000 case, and she described her attacker to NOPD Forensic Artist Detective Stephanie Taillon, who put together a computer composite of the suspect as the victim remembered him 12 years ago. Detective Taillon also sketched- by hand- a picture of what the attacker might look like today.
Sketches of the suspect are attached to this release, as well as a photo of Jennifer Autemeier.
If anyone knows the name of the suspect, we urge you to call CrimeStoppers at (504) 822-1111. You will not need to give your name, and if your tip leads to the arrest and eventual indictment of the suspect, you could receive a cash reward.
“I was a Major in the Detective Bureau in 1992 when the body of the 20-year-old woman was discovered. I went to this disturbing scene, and I still remember it well after 20 years”, said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.
“We have such an advantage now in crime-fighting because technology can identify DNA evidence from crimes committed decades ago, and enables us to find perpetrators and bring them to justice. I’m incredibly proud of today’s Cold Case Unit. They’re doing everything they can to make sure that cases like these are not put on the shelf, and they appreciate that with today’s science and the public’s help, arrests are definitely possible”, Serpas said.
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Contact: Remi Braden
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suspect cold case rapes, possible murder.doc