DNA used in cold case links Arizona man to San Diego sexual assaults

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (FOX 10) - Police say an Arizona man has been arrested in connection to a series of sexual assaults that occurred in Southern California.

According to the San Diego Police Department, 46-year-old Christopher VanBuskirk was arrested last month in connection to six sexual assaults that happened between 1995 and 2004. Four women were sexually assaulted at knifepoint in San Diego between August 18 and November 17 of 1995. DNA evidence revealed the same suspect committed all four crimes, but the suspect wasn't identified. In March of 2002 and November of 2004, two more women were sexually assaulted at knifepoint in Riverside County. DNA evidence linked these cases to the same assaults in 1995.

Police and the FBI used genealogical databases to identify the suspect and VanBuskirk was arrested on April 29.

"All four victims were shocked, and that would be a normal reaction, 'cause it had been 24 years since these brutal attacks, so they were shocked, but they were also elated," said Lt. Shawn Takeuchi with the San Diego Police Department.

According to court paperwork, VanBuskirk lived in a quiet Goodyear neighborhood with his wife and young son for the last seven years. VanBuskirk's wife did not want to comment, but FOX 10 has spoken with a neighbor, who said she was stunned to hear Vanbuskirk is a suspect in the sexual assaults.

"What's going around here, you never know. Terrible," said Claudette Wilkinson.

VanBuskirk was booked into Maricopa County Jail and extradited to San Diego to face charges. He is being held on a $5 million cash bond in a San Diego Jail.