Police have "promising leads" in Rancho Peñasquitos rapes - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Police have "promising leads" in Rancho Peñasquitos rapes

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SAN DIEGO (CBS8) - San Diego Police investigators say they have "promising leads" and hope to make an arrest soon in connection with the rapes of two teenaged girls in Rancho Peñasquitos that occurred Saturday night.

A town hall meeting was held Wednesday night at the Doubletree Golf Resort, where police addressed safety concerns from residents. Investigators say they don't believe the suspects are illegal immigrants living in the nearby canyon as some residents suspected, but rather, they believe the two men live in the community. DNA evidence has been collected from the victims, and police are waiting for the results to see if the samples match any suspects in the criminal database. Composite sketches of the suspects could be released as early as Thursday.

Police released new information about the bike the two men rode off on after the attack. They say it was a mountain bike style bike with larger wheels, and some sort of license plate on the back. There were pegs on the rear wheels, which the second suspect used to stand on as the two men fled the scene.

News 8's Marcella Lee has more in this video report.


This is an update to the story below:


SAN DIEGO (CBS8/CNS) - Police were on the lookout Tuesday for two young men who grabbed a pair of teenage girls in a dark Rancho Peñasquitos park over the Labor Day weekend, threatened them with a knife and sexually assaulted them.

The victims, both of whom live in Clairemont, were attending a family party near the intersection of Rideabout Lane and Spindletop Road  in the Park Village community of Rancho Peñasquitos Saturday evening when they decided to take a walk into a nearby open-space area, according to San Diego police.

In an interview with News 8, the party hosts, who wished to only be identified as Mike and Anne, said that Anne had thrown a surprise luau-themed birthday party for her husband Mike. The teenaged girls were daughters of their family friends. Anne said,  "I want the focus to be on the very dear, precious young ladies and finding the evil people who so badly hurt them."

The girls were sitting on a park bench at about 8:15 p.m. when two men who appeared to be in their late teens or early 20s walked by them, San Diego Police Department public affairs Lt. Andra Brown said.

Moments later, the strangers grabbed the girls from behind, and one put a knife to the older victim's throat while his cohort put his hand over the other one's mouth.

The assailants then forced the girls into a more secluded part of the park and sexually assaulted them for 20 to 30 minutes, Brown said. The attackers finally fled when a parent of one victim came looking for the girls.

Hearing the adult calling out the girls' names, the men ordered them to walk away, then climbed onto a single bicycle and rode away.

The girls described the assailants, who spoke English to them and Spanish between themselves, as clean-shaven, roughly 5-foot-6-inch Latinos, Brown said. One was wearing a baseball cap and a white shirt with a San Diego Padres logo on it, and the other had on a shirt with an attached hood.

Police have not received any reports of similar recent assaults in the area, according to Brown.

"It looks like it was a crime of opportunity," Brown said. "We're not looking at this as series-related."

Investigators were working with the victims to generate composite facial renderings of the assailants to release the public.

The party host Anne told News 8, "You would think that people could walk in a very nice neighborhood in a reasonable hour of the early evening, but that is not the case. Walking in pairs is just not enough." Her husband Mike added, "We've got to find these guys. We can't live like this, locking my doors behind me every time I walk in." The family says they have notified several schools in the area, including Park Village Elementary which is just down the road.

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