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Police Search for Suspect in Rape of Petaluma Girl

Crime: The man, a registered sex offender, allegedly tricked 12-year-old into letting him into her house.

November 05, 1996| From Associated Press

PETALUMA, Calif. — Police have received scores of calls in their hunt for Larry Wayne Cole, a registered sex offender sought for questioning in the rape of a 12-year-old girl.

Officers received tips from as far south as San Diego regarding Cole, 55, a convicted rapist, burglar and kidnapper.

"So far, there's no sign of him," Sgt. Mike Kerns said Monday.

The attack occurred within miles of the house Polly Klaas disappeared from in 1993. Richard Allen Davis has been sentenced to death for her kidnapping and murder.

The Polly Klaas Foundation in Petaluma, created to help families locate missing children, joined the search Sunday.

The suspect, who is believed to be armed, allegedly tricked the girl into letting him into her house Friday afternoon before threatening her life and then raping her, officers said.

The girl identified Cole from police photographs after being treated at a hospital and released. She and her father were asked by police to leave their house because of threats the suspect made against the girl's life.

Cole is wanted for investigation of rape, forced oral copulation and burglary.

The suspect, a white male, is 6 feet tall, weighs 165 pounds and has a full white beard, mustache and tattoos on his arms. He is known to drive a dark blue Volkswagen Golf with license plate number 2KMM623.

Sgt. Tim Lyons said investigators are optimistic that Cole will be apprehended.

"I think we'll find him because even if he shaves, with his tattoos, he's going to stand out," Lyons said.

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