Denver Police in manhunt for suspect in serial rapes
DENVER – Police pleaded for the public’s help Friday in a hunt for a registered sex offender suspected of raping five women and girls, not quite three weeks after he slipped through the hands of officers in a Denver suburb.Brent J. Brents is suspected of sexually assaulting two women at knifepoint Feb. 11 – one in her home in an upscale neighborhood just east of downtown Denver and another in a business in a nearby, eclectic area. Police also believe 35-year-old Brents was the knife-wielding man who burst into a house three days later in neighboring Cheesman Park, one of Denver’s oldest, most exclusive enclaves, and attacked a woman and her two granddaughters.”I think he has the potential for violence,” Police Chief Gerry Whitman said. “He is a repeat sex offender and pedophile who doesn’t differentiate between men and women, boys and girls.”Whitman said Brents was linked by DNA evidence to the string of rapes in Denver. Police also learned that he was wanted by authorities in neighboring Aurora on charges of inappropriately touching his former girlfriend’s 8-year-old son.Now about 200 officers, working with the FBI and police departments throughout Colorado’s metro areas, are checking out up to 400 tips, some from out-of-state.Whitman said Brents has used the aliases of Michael James Curtis and Michael James. He is described as 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, 170 to 180 pounds with brown hair and tattoos.A $20,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest.Voice recorder from Circuit City plane in good shapeDENVER – Federal investigators said Friday the cockpit voice recorder recovered from the wreckage of a Circuit City corporate jet was in good condition and should help them determine what caused the plane to crash, killing all eight people aboard.Investigators also recovered a device that warns if a plane is too close to the ground, and its recorder may also help investigators, National Transportation Safety Board spokeswoman Lauren Peduzzi said.Officials said the pilots of the twin-jet Cessna Citation C-560 did not make any distress calls to the control tower at the Pueblo airport, and radar showed it made a normal descent.The jet was stopping to refuel when it crashed Wednesday on ranch land east of Pueblo Memorial Airport, 100 miles south of Denver. Circuit City Stores Inc. said four company employees, two outside business partners and two pilots were killed.Martinair Inc., which operated the flight, identified the pilots as Bruce Walton, 53, of Richmond, Va., and Jeffrey Wightman, 42, of Tappahanock, Va.Survivor of plane crash near Montrose spends 30 hours in snowMONTROSE – Authorities rescued a man Thursday who spent nearly 30 hours near the wreckage of a single-engine airplane that went down in rugged terrain and snow high up on the Uncompahgre Plateau.The pilot wasn’t injured when the single-engine Cessna 172 crashed Wednesday in powdery snow that was about 8 feet deep, said Civil Air Patrol volunteer Mark Young, who is also the Montrose County coroner.The 58-year-old Paonia man, who was the only person onboard, survived freezing temperatures at the 10,000-foot altitude by digging a snow cave. He was hungry and dehydrated when rescuers found him at about 6:30 p.m.The man was heading from Laughlin, Nev., to Paonia when he lost power and crashed Wednesday.
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