WASHINGTON — It is a strange series of crimes — young women slashed on their rear ends as they shopped at area malls.
Now, the man who police think is responsible has turned up in another country.
“We did receive information a couple of weeks ago that he is possibly in Peru,” says Lucy Caldwell with Fairfax County Police.
That’s where suspect Johnny Pimentel is originally from.
“We are working with Peruvian officials to determine whether or not we’ll be bringing him back to the United States. As far as I know a decision hasn’t been made on this yet,” Caldwell says.
She says Pimentel is not in custody in Peru.
Caldwell says the fact that Pimentel has been spotted in his native country has been widely reported in Peruvian media.
“Peruvian media has called our office and talked with us about the situation, but there are not a lot of details that we’re not releasing at this point,” says Caldwell.
David Rohrer, Farifax County chief of police, says his department has been trying locate Pimentel for some time and he was believed to be in the United States, but out of the region. He does not know how Pimentel got into Peru.
He says the United States Marshal’s Service does not have the authority to go into Peru at this point. For that to happen, federal prosecutors would have to sign off on an Interpol red notice — the equivalent of an international arrest warrant.
Nine slashings were reported between February and July of this year at malls and shopping centers in the county, including Fair Oaks Mall and Tysons Corner Center.
One nagging question about the case remains unanswered.
“At this point, detectives still do not have a clear motive on why these attacks took place,” Caldwell says.