Ferdinand Ervin Flowers of Long Beach, California has been arrested on charges of kidnapping to commit rape, robbery, and assault involving one victim. However, he is suspected of raping at least 13 other women and girls.
Solid Police Work
On January 12, 2018, detectives were staking out an industrial area near Carson, California. They were hunting for a serial rapist who had attacked sex workers in the area in 2014 and 2017.
The Los Angeles Police Department, working in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, had begun to see a pattern in a series of rapes. All of the victims were black and worked in the sex trade.
The rapist had a habit of luring sex workers into his car, pulling a gun on them, driving them to an industrial area, and then robbing and sexually assaulting them before letting them go.
Officers narrowed down the days and times when many of the assaults took place. Then they began surveillance of Rancho Dominguez, an unincorporated county area.
A Break in the Case
While detectives were on surveillance duty on January 12, they witnessed a woman falling out of a white Honda Civic.
The woman told police that she had been picked up in nearby Lynwood, robbed at gunpoint, and then driven to the industrial area. She claimed her attacker then tried to sexually assault her, but she fought back and escaped from the car.
Ferdinand Ervin Flowers, 35, was arrested in his vehicle. Police seized a handgun that was registered to him.
How Many More Victims Are There?
Flowers, a security guard with a license to carry firearms, has been charged with kidnapping to commit rape, robbery, and assault. On January 17, he pleaded not guilty to all charges.
While officials have only charged him with one crime, they do believe that more charges will be laid once DNA evidence from the other assaults is compared to a sample from Flowers.
Ferdinand Ervin Flowers is suspected of raping and robbing 13 victims ranging in age from 15 to 35. The reported attacks occurred in 2014 and 2017.
Police believe that there may be unreported attacks from 2015 and 2016. They urge any victims or anyone who may have more information to come forward.
If you have information for investigators, contact Detectives Dara Brown and Daniel Aguirre at (213) 486-6910. Off-hours tips may be made at 1-877-527-3247.