Police: Man confesses to being peeping Tom in Eagle | VailDaily.com

Police: Man confesses to being peeping Tom in Eagle

Kathy Heicher
Eagle, CO Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado ” The case of the persistent peeper may be at an end.

Following one more peeper incident on Dec. 4, the Eagle Police questioned a man whom they say has confessed to the crime.

Because charges have yet to be filed, the police are not releasing the suspect’s name. The police and the district attorney’s office are awaiting the results of DNA evidence before bringing charges.

However, the suspect is described as a 22-year-old married man and the father of two children. Police Chief Rodger McLaughlin said the suspect lives part-time in the Brush Creek Terrace subdivision in Eagle ,where numerous peeper incidents have been reported for the past year. The man spends the majority of his time living in Aurora.

Police zeroed in on the suspect after receiving a 911 phone report of a peeper in the Terrace at 7:15 p.m. on Dec. 4. The victim was able to describe the peeper.

Eagle officer Josh Champoux happened to be patrolling nearby. Less than a minute after the 911 call came in, he contacted a man who was walking through the neighborhood, a few blocks away from where the incident was reported.

According to McLaughlin, while Champoux questioned the suspect, other officers brought in a tracking dog from the Eagle County Sheriff’s office.

The dog tracked the suspect’s scent from the window of the Pinion Town Homes to the location where the officer was questioning the man.

McLaughlin said that evidence alone was not enough to make an arrest. The suspect volunteered to come to the police office for further questioning.

Sgt. Terry Simpkins, who had been investigating the case for the past year, elicited a confession from the man.

“He admitted he has a problem. He doesn’t understand why he does what he does,” said McLaughlin.

Since November of 2007, Eagle police have documented 11 actual peeping incidents; and five other suspicious cases. In one of last year’s cases, investigators were able to collect biological evidence left at the scene.

McLaughlin said the sporadic nature of the peepings made solving the case a challenge. Numerous cases were reported a year ago in November and December.

Then the peeper incidents abruptly stopped ” likely because the suspect wanted to avoid leaving tracks in the snow. In June, another peeper incident was reported. However, last week’s incident was the first peeper report in about five months.

The ongoing investigation has been extensive. McLaughlin reported that the police conducted numerous interviews, collected DNA samples, and eliminated a number of possible suspects. The case was “profiled” by a forensic expert from Denver. Additionally, the Eagle cops spent many hours performing covert surveillance, canvassing the neighborhood and conducting extra foot patrols.

The suspect actually had been interviewed previously, and was on the “short list” of suspects, the chief said.

The Eagle cops are working with Aurora officers to determine if there have been similar crimes in that community.

“With this kind of crime, the case will be adjudicated with this guy’s mental health in mind,” said McLaughlin.

The suspect is not currently in custody. The man could face possible charges including some degree of sexual assault, trespassing and possibly theft. The district attorney’s office will review the case to determine of those charges will be felonies or misdemeanors. The suspect is not yet in custody.

“I’m pretty certain he will not be re-offending here in Eagle,” McLaughlin said.

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