Brianna Denison update: Two pairs of panties connected to Reno’s serial rapist, murder case | SierraSun.com

Brianna Denison update: Two pairs of panties connected to Reno’s serial rapist, murder case

Sandra Chereb, Associated Press Writer
Brianna Denison's body was found Feb. 15 in a vacant lot in southeast Reno. Police have disclosed finding more evidence linked to her killer.
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RENO, Nev. (AP) ” Police disclosed for the first time today that a second pair of women’s panties found with Brianna Denison’s body had DNA belonging to her, her suspected killer and a woman who lived at the house where she was abducted.

The second pair, described as pink, was intertwined with previously disclosed thong-style underwear that is black with Pink Panther emblems, Reno police Commander Leigha Struffert said.

Investigators believe both pair of panties may have been taken from the home where Denison last was seen when she was abducted Jan. 20 on the edge of the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, she said.

Denison’s body was found Feb. 15 in a vacant lot in southeast Reno.

“We know that the suspect left both pair at the scene, which makes the underwear important evidence,” Struffert said.

“This is going to be critical in this case,” she said during a news conference at police headquarters. “They were intertwined and found at the scene of Brianna’s body.”

Struffert said investigators still hope the owner of the Pink Panther underwear will come forward and possibly provide a key link in the case.

“The suspect in this case is known by someone,” she said. “Someone with whom they have had a long- or short-term relationship, or even a husband or other relatives.

“We need to know under what circumstances the black underwear was lost and when.”

Denison, a student at Santa Barbara City College in California, was visiting her hometown during winter break and was last seen sleeping on a couch at a friend’s rental house just off campus.

Two women and two men lived at the house. All have been interviewed and none is considered a suspect, Struffert said.

Struffert said information about the second pair of underwear wasn’t disclosed earlier because it was considered something that would be known only to investigators, the victim, and the perpetrator.

She said police decided to make the evidence public Thursday to clear up confusion about the presence of DNA on the Pink Panther underwear.

Police originally reported that pair had DNA from the suspected killer and an unknown woman, but Reno police Lt. Robert McDonald earlier this week said that DNA belonged to an unknown male and female.

Police said DNA evidence still links Denison’s kidnapping to two other attacks on women near the university late last year, and that an earlier on-campus attack also could be related. In that earlier incident, the attacker was so brazen he raped a woman at gunpoint in a parking garage where campus police park their cruisers.

Based on partial descriptions from previous victims, police have described the suspect as a white male between the ages of 28 and 40 who is at least 5-foot-6, with a long face and brown hair. He was believed to have normal speech with no accent or regional dialect.