A Colorado sheriff’s office issued a warning Wednesday about a sexual predator targeting female hikers in the Conifer and Evergreen areas.
Seven reports have been taken so far, the sheriff’s office said. The first reported incident occurred on April 3.
Investigators said the male suspect was naked and sexually assaulted a woman hiking in the area in the April 3 incident.
The sheriff’s office said the encounters are becoming increasingly aggressive. The man assaulted three victims in one day on July 18.
On Monday, the man confronted a female hiker while masturbating, and then grabbed the victim and tried to rip off her clothing, according to the sheriff’s office.
The suspect is described as a white male, 20-30 years old, with a fit and athletic build and dark-colored hair. He has carried a dark-colored backpack in some cases. In each incident, the suspect ran off into the woods, avoiding capture.
The sheriff’s office is seeking input from the public to help identify the suspect, as well as identify other potential victims. Call 303-271-0211 to report any additional information.
"We know that when you're hiking, sometimes it's just the time that you zone out, you enjoy the sky, the wind, the trees, the birds and all of that. But we need people to be more cautious and more aware," said Jacki Kelley with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities provided the following safety tips:
- Hike with a friend or family member.
- Don’t walk off-trail.
- Take a phone with you.
- Be aware of those around you.
- Report anything suspicious immediately.
This story was originally published by Robert Garrison for Scripps News Denver.
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