Los Angeles police are intensifying the hunt for a serial killer who has killed 11 young black women since the mid-1980s, it was reported on Saturday.
As part of the effort, DNA samples are being taken from those arrested in prostitution stings to match the killer's genetic profile on record for years, the Los Angeles Times said.
"It's a needle in the haystack, but there is a needle out there somewhere and someone is going to find it," Los Angeles police Lt. Dennis Ballas said.
Although detectives have had the killer's genetic profile on record for years, they have been unable to make a match through law enforcement databases and have few other clues as to his identity, the paper said.
The suspect allegedly shoots his victims with a handgun, sexually abuses them and dumps their bodies in alleys along the Western Avenue in South Los Angeles, said the paper.
"We have a beautiful picture of what this guy looks like -- it's a dot, a dash and a line on a screen," said Detective Dennis Kilcoyne, who heads the squad stalking the elusive killer. "We just don't have a name to go with it."
Although a 500,000-U.S.-dollar reward in the case has produced some promising leads, none has panned out, according to the paper.
The killer, most active in the 1980s, seemed to stop killing for 13 years, only to resurface in 2002. His last known victim was found early last year.
Twenty years ago, his lone surviving victim described him as a black man in his 30s, according to Kilcoyne.
DNA dragnets, as the strategy is called, were first employed in Europe, where authorities have swabbed thousands of people and solved dozens of crimes.