Miami rape suspect caught through DNA match, police say

Miami police said Friday they have arrested a man who tried to rape a young girl in November, then raped a woman in January, both incidents taking place in the backyards of abandoned homes hear where he lives.

Eduardo Ponce Salgado, 25, of 1335 NW 33rd St., has been charged with attempted sexual battery and false imprisonment of a girl under 13, and with sexual battery. Police have had Salgado in custody since Jan. 22.

According to police, a 12-year-old girl was walking home from school on Nov. 14 when she was approached by Salgado near the corner of Northwest 12th Avenue and 33rd Street. Salgado, police said, covered her mouth, dragged her behind an abandoned home, then took off his pants and sexually assaulted her.

When the girl punched Salgado, he jumped off her, and she ran to safety.

Then on Jan. 22, police said, Salgado approached a 20-year-old woman near the Allapattah Metrorail Station. Salgado then pulled the woman’s sweater over her head and dragged her to the backyard of another abandoned home, where he raped her, police believe.

A witness called police, who responded and caught Salgado a block from the crime scene. Police were able to match Salgado’s DNA to DNA found on the victims’ bodies.

Miami police believe Salgado may be responsible for up to three other similar crimes. They’re asking anyone with information to contact the department’s Special Victims Unit at 305-603-6300, or to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-4877.

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