Originally published September 7, 2018 at 10:20 a.m., updated September 7, 2018 at 1:45 p.m.
Portage County Sheriff David Doak announced the arrest of Shawn Wendling, 37, of Hillsville, Pa., in connection with three attacks on women. Two attacks took place on Berlin Lake bike trail on June 14 and Aug. 13. The third took place on Tuesday in Poland Township Park.
The attacks were linked through DNA evidence.
Wendling was arrested by Poland Township police at 6 a.m. today and is in the Portage County jail, scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 10 at 1:15 p.m. in Portage County court.
While conducting a traffic stop this morning, Poland Township police arrested Wendling.
At the news conference today at the Portage County Sheriff's Office, Doak said Wendling is charged with one count of rape. Additional charges will be pursued before a grand jury.
By testing DNA evidence at both incidents on the Berlin Lake trail, scientists were able to determine a suspect by identifying a relative of Wendling. The time between receiving the results of the DNA testing and Wendling's arrest was 14 hours.
BCI special Agent James Ciotti said, “At this point there’s no evidence linking this to Warren or Mill Creek Park" incidents.
Doak said, “This was an ongoing intensive investigation,” which relied on the collaboration of local, state and federal agencies. He thanked the numerous agencies that assisted in the investigation.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine could not be present, but Ciotti conveyed DeWine’s “Immense appreciation to state, local and federal partners.”