Search for suspect continues, perimeter taken down

Columbia police say man may be tied to recent sexual assault and apartment break ins

Columbia, Mo. - Columbia police searched into the early morning hours Saturday for a suspect matching the description of a man wanted for a string of recent crimes.

Police received a call just before 8:00 p.m. Friday about a suspicious looking person in the 3100 block of Rock Quarry Rd.  The man ran into the woods when authorities approached him.

Police then set up a perimeter in the area of Rock Quarry and Riback Road.  Officers with the Boone County Sheriff's Department, MU Police and Missouri State Highway Patrol assisted.  A highway patrol helicopter was used as well.

The search was called off after midnight only to start again around 1:00 a.m. Saturday when a man was spotted coming out of the woods near the Stadium Blvd. and Ashland Rd. intersection.

The perimeter is currently down and the intense search has wound down but police say they are still looking for the man.

He was seen wearing a black t-shirt, khaki shorts or pants and a tan hat.  He's described as a white man. 

Police say the suspect matches the description of a man wanted for a string of six crimes since the beginning of May.  These crimes include a sexual assault, an attempted sexual assault and multiple break ins or attempted break ins of college student apartments.

Police on Friday speculated the man could be the same suspect they are searching for in a string of similar crimes last year.  Most of those were in the East Campus Neighborhood.

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