Prosecutors revealed on Thursday that a 60-year-old jailed sex offender’s DNA has been matched to at least 25 rape victims that date to the early- and mid-1980s.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle named Robert Eugene Koehler as the Pillowcase Rapist at a news conference. He is believed to have sexually assaulted more than 40 women in South Florida between 1981 and 1986, and possibly longer.
Rundle added that she believes numerous cases against him will be prosecuted and said, “This offender will never, ever be free again.”
The break in the case happened after Koehler’s son, 29-year-old Robert Koehler, was arrested last September and charged with attempted burglary, domestic violence assault and criminal mischief in Melbourne, Florida.
Since the charge was a felony, Robert Koehler’s DNA was taken and then entered in a national database, where it was connected to a 1983 Miami rape case.
That led investigators to his father, who lived in Miami during the early 1980s, when the younger Koehler was not born yet.
They tracked the 60-year-old in Brevard County and tailed him to a grocery store, where they collected evidence from a grocery cart he had used, as well as a door handle. The initial DNA provided enough evidence to give prosecutors probable cause to arrest Koehler last Saturday at his home in Palm Bay.
He was moved to Miami on Wednesday, where a judge issued a search warrant to collect additional DNA from him. That DNA was analyzed and produced a 100 percent match to the DNA found on at least 25 of the women who alleged they were raped by the Pillowcase Rapist during the 1980s.
The judge decided at Koehler’s first bond appearance that he will remain jailed without bond.
UPDATED: Alleged South Florida “Pillowcase Rapist” was Caught and Freed in 1990