RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - U.S. Marshals say they are looking for a man accused of raping two women in New York, including a wheelchair-bound victim with special needs, and he may be hiding in Virginia.
The suspect is Michael Hawkins, a.k.a. "Zombie Mike." Hawkins is accused of raping the first victim in Schenectady, New York on June 10, 2012. He is accused of raping a second victim in Rotterdam, New York on November 8, 2013.
Authorities believe he fled the Upstate NY area, but he has personal ties in many states, including Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oregon, California, and Florida. They say he also has worked with traveling carnival companies based in New Jersey and North Carolina and may be traveling with similar companies in Ohio, Tennessee, Puerto Rico, and states along the East Coast.
"The Schenectady and Rotterdam Police departments, along with the Marshals, have dedicated countless man-hours during this fugitive investigation," said U.S. Marshal David McNulty. "With the public's help, we are confident Hawkins will be arrested."
Marshals describe Hawkins as "a 5'9" white male and weighing approximately 160 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. His unique physical characteristics include a 1.5-inch scar on his face, a burn mark scar on his right arm, and a chest tattoo of the Grim Reaper."
His friends told US Marshals that Hawkins is known to hide in the woods and survive off scraps.
"He does a lot of odd jobs, low-paying, minimum wage, under the table. We do know he worked with a carnival passing through Virginia so we're hoping that someone may have worked with him, recognizes him, and may even know where he is," explained Deputy US Marshal Brian Stalnaker.
Stalnaker says it isn't a stretch to believe Hawkins could be hiding in Virginia. He pointed out the traveling carnival company he worked with traveled along Interstate 95. In addition, there are bus stations and trains he could easily, and cheaply, find a way to hitch a ride on.
He warns people to be on the lookout in local homeless shelters, and to look closely at panhandlers in the area.
His friends have also told lead investigators that Hawkins abuses alcohol and has a temper. US Marshals worry there could be more victims.
Marshals are offering up to a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to Hawkins' arrest. Call the U.S. Marshals Service Communications Center at 1-800-336-0102.
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