15-year-old in custody for 2 rapes, Hammond murder

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HAMMOND, Ind. – A 15-year-old was arrested in connection with two rapes and a murder in Hammond, Ind., police said.

Police said the rapes occurred within two weeks of each other. They said both female victims were out walking when they were approached by a young, black male. They were both forced into an alley, threatened with a hammer and raped, police said.

The first victim, 14, was assaulted on July 26 around 12:30 p.m. near the 6700 block of Grand Avenue.

The second victim, 25, was assaulted near the 7400 block of Arkansas Avenue on August 8.

Police said DNA evidence confirms the suspect in both rapes was the same person.

Chief John Doughty/Hammond PD

"We were pursuing other avenues at the time. We did not know the rapes were connected any way shape or form to the homicide, but because they're doing their job, the way they're supposed to do it, it just takes us where it goes," Hammond Police Department Chief John Doughty said.

Police said evidence in the stabbing death of a 25-year-old mother last week also led them to the boy.

Police were dispatched to the home of Lucia Gonzalez on the 7500 block of Alexander Avenue around 6 a.m. on August 22. When police arrived, they found Gonzalez dead in the kitchen.

Monday's announcement from police came on the same day as Gonzalez's funeral. Her friends and family asked for privacy.

A gag order is in effect, preventing more details to come out.  Lake County prosecutors want to have the 15-year-old waived into adult court, at least in connection with the rape cases.

No formal charges have been filed, and he's being held in juvenile detention.