Oregon sex offender is suspected in 2 assaults in Richland Hills

A transient accused in the beating of one woman and the rape of another in Richland Hills is a registered sex offender from Oregon, but authorities believe that he could still be in Fort Worth or Dallas, police said Sunday.

They continued their search Sunday for Lynn Edward Denham, 54, who has been on the run since Thursday after the separate attacks.

He is described as white, with a light gray beard, about 150 pounds and wearing a baseball cap, tan jacket, flannel shirt and bluejeans.

An arrest warrant was issued for Denham after a 54-year-old woman identified him as the man who punched and choked her at a campsite for transients Wednesday night. She played dead so the man would not continue to choke her, police said. After he left, she walked to a McDonald's in Richland Hills and sought help.

Denham is also accused of entering a Richland Hills home Thursday morning and raping a woman.

He did not register as a sex offender when he moved to Tarrant County, Richland Hills police said Sunday. Details of his crimes in Oregon were not available.

Denham had been staying at a campsite for transients just south of Airport Freeway and east of Handley Ederville Road in Fort Worth. The campsite is across the freeway from a McDonald's in Richland Hills.

"There's a bunch of trees there, and it looks like people had been living there," Richland Hills police officer Nathan Sanders said Sunday.

The 54-year-old woman told police that she met Denham on Wednesday morning in the emergency room at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. "They got on a train, came to Richland Hills and got off," Sanders said.

The woman told police that she and Denham went to the campsite, where he began punching and choking her about 10 p.m.

"She played dead for several hours and then got out of there," Sanders said.

About 3 a.m. Thursday, a man armed with a knife entered a southeast Richland Hills home, police said.

The homeowner told police that she awoke to find a man standing by her bed. He then held the knife to her throat.

At some point, he put the knife down, and the victim tried to escape, police said, but he grabbed and choked her. He then tied her up and raped her, police said.

The man left the house, taking the victim's keys and driving off in her gray 2004 Dodge pickup.

Police did not release the license plate number to protect the victim's identity.

Anyone with information should call Richland Hills police at 817-299-1880 or Tarrant County Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.

DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR., 817-390-7763