DNA left behind by a fugitive day laborer who beat his Hempstead employer with a hammer has been matched to a wanted child rapist from Texas, police said Tuesday.
The hammer attack happened July 16 after the day laborer, hired outside a Home Depot to fix a 52-year-old woman's leaking toilet, became enraged at her complaint that he hadn't fixed the drip.
Then, within the past week, forensic scientists in Nassau matched the DNA profile at the Hempstead scene against genetic material left when a man sexually assaulted a 2-year-old girl last September in the border town of Laredo, Texas, said Det. Lt. Raymond Coté, who's supervising the investigation.
His detectives have released a surveillance video showing the suspect walking with the woman at the Hempstead Home Depot where they met, Coté said.
"He's the guy you might see on the corner looking for work for the day," Coté said, adding, "We can't allow him to continue to prey on our citizens."
The suspect is slim with short hair, 5-foot-2, who possibly limps and has an injury to his left hand, police said.
The Hempstead woman, whose identity wasn't made public, survived but suffered a fractured skull, police said.
"After extensive treatment, she's still suffering from permanent neurological damage and has been traumatized by this whole incident," he said.
Investigator Joe Baeza, spokesman for Laredo police, said the rape case investigation had been stymied but his department now is in contact with Nassau.
Nassau made the match using a U.S. Department of Justice database called CODIS, the combined DNA Index System.