Detective looking for escaped rapist provides update and warning

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Adrian Cruz is accused of raping a little girl before escaping from a Maricopa County court. The detective looking for him has a warning and an update on the manhunt.

“He was serving a Department of Corrections time for an initial rape and sexual assault that he did,” Maricopa County Sheriff’s detective Jason White said.

Detective White is talking about Adrian Cruz. An illegal immigrant convicted back in 2005 for raping and impregnating a nine-year-old girl.

“He was driving around an ice cream truck,” White said. “He had a girlfriend at the time and during a couple of his outings he would take his girlfriend’s daughter with him.”

While serving a 120 year sentence for the attack on his girlfriend's daughter, DNA linked him to two other violent sexual assaults. Cruz went on trial for those assaults in February 2009.

“That's when we believe he conducted this kind of plan of his and planned it out and waited until the right opportunity,” White said.

While in a holding room during a break in the trial, White said that Cruz somehow managed to get out of his handcuffs and walk out of the Maricopa County Superior Court.  It was all caught on surveillance tape.

“I think he got really lucky,” White said. “He took a big risk. I mean he had nothing to lose. He was already serving 120 years or more.”

MCSO got calls from people reporting they saw Cruz after his escape, but nothing panned out. Now more than two years later, detectives believe its unlikely Cruz will come back to Arizona, but they fear for anyone who comes in contact with him.

“One thing that we have learned and come across is he might still like little girls, but he's gotten a broad perspective of what he likes and that's one thing we were afraid of,” White said. “It doesn't matter who you are, what sex or orientation, a man or woman, we don't think anybody would be safe.“

Cruz also has some distinctive physical characteristics. A large scar on his stomach, his teeth are capped and wrapped in sliver metal from dental work in prison and when it comes to a tattoo of a rosary on his left hand.

“From information that we have received through our investigation, we have learned that he has attempted to remove this tattoo,” White said. “When he did it, he apparently did it himself.”

While the manhunt continues for this convicted child rapist, Cruz's case will take a national stage. America's Most Wanted is getting ready to profile his case once again.

“We're going to catch him and I want to be there when we bring him back,” White said.

White also said that this is a top priority for Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The America’s Most Wanted segment featuring Cruz should air sometime this summer.