DNA links two stranglings in Philadelphia

Nov. 24, 2010 at 12:49 PM

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- A single criminal raped and strangled two women in Philadelphia, police said.

Homicide Capt. James Clark told the Philadelphia Daily News DNA evidence has linked the killings of Nicole Piacentini, 35, and Elaine Goldberg, 21.

Goldberg was found dead Nov. 3 and Piacentini Nov. 13. Both were partially clothed and had been sexually assaulted, police said.

Clark said the strangler's DNA has been entered into a national database.

He said police could "potentially" be dealing with a serial killer and are re-examining unsolved homicides and other assaults in the Kensington neighborhood.

Last week, two women told police they were sexually assaulted and choked until they passed out in Kensington in October.

One of them helped create a composite sketch of a slender, 20-something black or Latino man with a small goatee and a skin mark on his cheek.

Clark cautioned, however, "We're not 100 percent sure if that attacker is our killer," the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

He said detectives have interviewed many people and are receiving "a lot of cooperation."

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