Police arrest suspect in connection with series of sexual assaults in Southeast Minneapolis

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The Minneapolis Police Department on Sunday announced it had arrested a suspect who is believed to be responsible for a series of sexual assaults near the University of Minnesota's East Bank campus.

In a news conference, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said the suspect was arrested Friday at a residence in Anoka County. Jory Wiebrand, 34, is in custody at Hennepin County Jail on probable cause burglary and probable cause criminal sexual conduct. He has not been formally charged.

In March, police issued a sketch and asked for the public's help identifying the suspect, who authorities believed was linked to several sexual assaults and attempted abductions near the U of M campus, particularly in the Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown neighborhoods. Some of the victims were U of M students.

Police said the sexual assaults date back to at least 2013, and the earliest case in Minneapolis was in 2015.

Police working to identify suspect in sexual assaults, abduction attempts near U of M

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey opened the news conference by thanking the investigators on what he called "the culmination of an extraordinary amount of work and perseverance." He also had a message to survivors of the assaults.

"To survivors, we hope that this brings some form of closure to everything you've been through, and please know that it was your courage that will now make it so that so many more don't need to go through what you did," Frey said.

Erick Fors, deputy chief of the Minneapolis Police Department Investigative Bureau, said the department received "a multitude" of tips based on the description of the suspect and worked with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the FBI to confirm the suspect's identity.

Investigators would not say which piece of evidence sealed the investigation but did say that DNA played a role, along with the victim's statements and public tips.

Lt. Darcy Horn with the Minneapolis Police Department Sex Crimes Unit said the cases were never referred to by their numbers.

"They were always referred to by their first names, keeping the victims in the forefront and using that as a model in our investigation," Horn said.

The department said it is not giving a specific number of attacks or names of other cities in which the assaults occurred, as they are open and active investigations.