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April 1, 2015

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Missouri sex offender arrested in connection with 1986 rape, murder of North Las Vegas girl

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Jasper Goddard - 2011

The arrest of 62-year-old registered sex offender Jasper Goddard in connection with a 1986 rape and murder of a North Las Vegas girl on Thursday has police looking for possibly related cases.

Goddard was arrested in Missouri during a routine traffic stop by Ozark police, who discovered a Nevada warrant for the rape and murder of 7-year-old April Marie Rhodes, North Las Vegas Police Sgt. Tim Bedwell said in a statement. Bedwell said the department issued the warrant after DNA testing connected Goddard to the crime and was preparing to send a detective to Missouri when the arrest was made.

Rhodes was found dead in November 1986 after being abducted from her home in the 2100 block of Statz Street, near Lake Mead Boulevard and Belmont Street, Bedwell said. Goddard lived two houses away from Rhodes at the time of the murder, he said.

Goddard allegedly abducted Rhodes from her room in a North Las Vegas apartment complex, according to an affidavit by a North Las Vegas Police detective. Goddard then took Rhodes to a storage room in the same complex and allegedly raped her before hitting her head repeatedly with a brick, according to the affidavit.

Goddard is being charged with burglary, battery with intent to commit sexual assault, sexual assault with a minor and murder with a deadly weapon, according to a criminal complaint filed against him earlier this month.

According to the National Sex Offender Public Registry, Goddard was convicted on charges of sodomy and sexual abuse of an 8-year-old girl in 1990 in Springfield, Mo. He will likely face increased charges because of past convictions, Bedwell said.

Bedwell said Goddard's history of sexual violence could lead the department to look at more unsolved cases.

"When you have a man in his 60s with multiple child sex crimes ... you're talking about somebody who could potentially be involved in others," he said.

Goddard was booked into the Christian County jail and is awaiting extradition to Nevada. The extradition process could take anywhere from a few days to several months, depending on whether Goddard attempts to fight the extradition, Bedwell said.

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  1. Justice served.