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Twilight Rapist attempted break-in in Yoakum hours before arrest in Edna

By Sonny Long
Jan. 11, 2011 at 4:03 p.m.
Updated Jan. 10, 2011 at 7:11 p.m.

Billy Joe Harris

Less than three hours before Billy Joe Harris, the suspect in the Twilight Rapist case, was arrested Saturday in Edna, he may have attempted a break-in in Yoakum.

"The M.O. is similar," said Yoakum Police Chief Arthur Rogers. "An outside light bulb was unscrewed, a screen was removed."

The elderly woman living in the 500 block of Migl Street heard noises and frightened the potential intruder away, said Rogers. The Yoakum Police responded at 1:28 a.m.

Three previous home invasions and assaults in Yoakum, including the first one on Jan. 21, 2009, are being connected to Harris.

The Serial Rapist Task Force lists Saturday's attempted burglary among the crimes connected to Harris.

Harris was arrested in Edna about 4:20 a.m., fleeing from the apartment of an elderly woman who activated a medical alert alarm.

"We can take a moment, a sigh of relief that he is behind bars," said Rogers. "But we can't drop our guard, the way the world is now. There are people who will continue to burglarize and terrorize our good citizens."

Harris is also connected to a residential burglary in Edna on Dec. 4. Texas Rangers found evidence from that burglary in Harris' Missouri City home, according to task force documents.

Evidence from three other break-ins, one in Marquez in July 2009, Zabcikville in August 2009 and Moody in December 2009 was also recovered from Harris' home, according to the task force documents.

Harris's DNA has been linked to the home invasion and sexual assault in Yoakum in Feb. 2009, in Marquez in July 2009, in Bell County in Sept. 2009, in Falls County in Oct. 2009, in Yoakum on Nov. 9, as well as in Edna on Saturday.

Harris previously lived, for 13 years, in Copperas Cove in Coryell County, which borders the area where some of the attacks occurred, according to a story in the Houston Chronicle.

He moved to the Houston area in May 2010 and married that same month. The couple formed the BDK Healthcare business in June, according to Harris County Clerk documents.

No ties to the victims and the home health business have been made so far in the investigation, said Tom Vinger, Department of Public Safety spokesman.

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