Nov 5, 2009 9:47 PM by David Ortiviz

Pueblo man now suspected of rapes in 6 states

Authorities say a suspected serial rapist in Pueblo may now be linked to more attacks, in more states.

Pueblo Police say they now believe Robert Howard Bruce may have raped 20 victims in California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. "He traveled extensively and I think they're going to find victims in every state he traveled to," said Sgt. Eric Bravo, with the Pueblo Police Department.

"You don't think it's going to happen to you, until it does," said Pamela Fowler of Texas, a victim of the suspected serial rapist.

Bruce has lived on Pueblo's northside for about the past 6 years. The 47-year old remains in the Pueblo County Jail on separate charges, including attempted murder. Bruce is accused of trying to blow up Officer Nathan Pruce's home in Pueblo West in October. Officer Pruce was scheduled to testify against Bruce in a Peeping Tom case.

Sgt. Bravo says investigators are waiting for DNA analysis to determine if Bruce can be linked to a rape in Pueblo that happened in July 2006. "That case is extremely similar to all the other cases and at this point we feel strong that he's the perpetrator," said Sgt. Bravo.

During the 90s, detectives in Albuquerque investigated a series of unsolved rapes. Police dubbed the suspect the "Ether Man" because he used a rag soaked in chemicals to render his victims unconscious, before he raped them.

John Walsh with the Albuquerque Police Department says DNA collected from Bruce has linked him to five rapes in New Mexico. Walsh says Bruce is also suspected in 6 other cases in the state.

Police from Albuquerque have traveled to Pueblo to interview Bruce, but according to Sgt. Bravo Bruce has not been cooperative.

Bruce remains in jail on a $3 million bond.


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