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Miami-prosecutors say they are linked to a registered sex offender in the decades-old “Pillowcase Rapist” case, in the obtaining of DNA from the man’s son after his arrest.
Robert Koehler, 60, of Palm Bay, Palm Bay, was denied bond Thursday after his arrest in connection with the 1983 rape and is linked to the famous spree which terrorised dozens of women in the South Florida area.
“The key to the break in the case when the Koehler’s son, was arrested last year for a crime of domestic violence [case], and the DNA was provided in a close familial match to the unknown rapist,” the Miami-Dade state Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle told a news conference on Thursday, according to NBC News.
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Mugshot of Robert Koehler’s, 60’s
(Miami-Dade County Jail)
She said that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement determined that it was DNA, and of the son, it was so similar to the DNA of the unidentified perpetrator, the perpetrator was the husband, the father, NBC reported.
After the elder Koehler’s arrest Saturday, authorities found a hollow space under his house, which she described as a “dungeon in progress”, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.
“We were afraid that we had not got him in custody, he had other plans, much worse than what he has done to all these women, in this case,” prosecutor Laura Adams said, according to the paper.
Adams said the researchers have also discovered a safety deposit box in the room with the women’s jewelry “seemed to be good, possibly, for souvenirs, if you will, of the previous violations.”
Koehler is required to register as a sex offender after being convicted in 1990 of Palm Bay, and rape. He was convicted and sentenced to a period of probation, which he later violated, and served 120 days in the county jail.
The crime took place just before the mandatory collection of DNA from convicted criminals, CBS 4 Miami reported.
‘PILLOWCASE RAPIST” WHO TERRORIZED WOMEN DECADES AGO WAS ARRESTED IN FLORIDA, POLICE SAY
The victims told the police that the person they raped her had broken into their apartment, or townhome, endangered and threatened them with a knife, and then covered their face with a pillow, to prevent them from getting a good look at their attacker.
Fernandez Rundle said the arrests will hopefully bring some justice and some measure of peace to the victims.
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Miami-Dade Police department created a task force to deal with the culprit, but it was dissolved in 1987 when the leads have dried up, and the investigation was fourteen years old.
On Tuesday, Koehler appeared before a Brevard County judge of the Miami Herald reported. His only words were, “I am not guilty.”