KANSAS CITY, Mo. —The rapist recently preying on women in the Waldo area struck for the fifth and final time Feb. 22.
That same day, Bernard Jackson — now called by police a person of interest in those sexual assaults — was more than three hours late in returning to the prison work-release site where he lived.
Corrections officials issued a warrant for his arrest but canceled it when he returned.
It was the second time in two months that officials had issued an arrest warrant after Jackson missed curfew by at least three hours at the West Bottoms facility.
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Typically, such rule violations would not be enough to send a parolee back to prison, officials said.
And in Jackson's case, they weren't.
Authorities will not provide any other details about his movements in and out of the halfway house on the nights of the five assaults attributed to the Waldo-area rapist.
Four of the five occurred during times when Jackson was supposed to be in the facility.
"Those are things I am unable to comment on pending the current criminal investigation," said Jacqueline Lapine, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Kansas City police also are not commenting on the Waldo investigation. And a Jackson County judge has sealed search warrants served this month in connection with the attacks.
But according to police sources, a laptop computer stolen from one Waldo rape victim first pointed investigators to Jackson. It was being used by a man who reportedly bought it from Jackson.
After recovering the laptop, police compared Jackson's DNA, already in the national database because of his prior felonies, against a partial DNA sample taken from a lotion bottle the rapist used at a victim's house, the sources said. The DNA showed a match, but police are continuing tests to see if they can get more definitive results, sources said.
No charges have been filed in the recent assaults. This month, authorities used DNA evidence to charge Jackson in four mid-1980s rapes that happened in the same general area as the recent attacks.
Jackson, 52, was paroled in December 2008 after serving 24 years in prison for a 1984 burglary and attempted rape in the Waldo area.
He was assigned to the Kansas City Community Release Center, a work-release facility that houses about 300 offenders. Currently, 84 of them are registered sex offenders, authorities say.
Center officials monitor comings and goings of offenders, who must have approval before leaving the facility, according to Lapine.
Offenders are required to obtain employment or be enrolled in an educational program outside the facility. They also are granted permission to leave for religious services, recreation time, meetings with attorneys or to obtain medical or mental health treatment.
Jackson's schedule during most of 2009 allowed him to be gone from the facility from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to records released by the department.
In November 2009 he got a job at a pork-processing plant in St. Joseph, according to information he provided for the state's sex offender registry. Officials with that company have not responded to requests for information about Jackson's hours and duties.
Corrections officials will not release information about a specific offender's employment. But coinciding with that job change in November, Jackson obtained permission from the work-release facility to be gone from 3:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Authorities issued a warrant for his arrest Dec. 28, after Jackson missed curfew. Those warrants are issued only after an offender misses curfew by at least three hours.
He missed curfew by more than three hours again Feb. 22, corrections officials said.
Despite those two curfew violations, Jackson's curfew was extended in March to 11 p.m.
Lapine said that curfew violations could result in a recommendation that an offender's parole be revoked, which would result in a return to prison. It could also be noted as an infraction, but not written up as a formal violation.