A 23-year-old man has been arrested for breaking into two apartment units in San Marcos and standing over two little girls and one mother as they slept.
Drops of blood left at the scene led deputies to Dwayne Farrell, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore announced Monday.
"It was just a matter of time before we could match it to our DNA in our own data base," Gore said.
On Sunday morning, the sheriff’s department got calls from two families, reporting their little girls had awoken to a strange man in their bedrooms at the Terra Cotta Apartments, located in the 500 block of Rush Drive .
In the first incident, a 7-year-old noticed the man kneeling by her bed, and when they made eye contact, he ran through a sliding glass door in the living room, according to sheriff’s department spokesperson Jan Caldwell.
Less than half an hour later, an 8-year-old girl woke her mother up to say, “There’s someone down there,” pointing to the ground by the bed she and her daughter were sharing. The woman screamed and chased the intruder as he jumped from the second-story balcony to escape
That mother, who does not want to be identified, told NBC 7 she believes the man got in through a sliding door she left unlocked on her balcony – a mistake she will not make again.
She found a small trail of blood outside her balcony, so she thinks the man injured himself when he jumped off.
Sheriff Gore said investigators worked through Sunday night to develop a DNA profile for the suspect, and then they compared that with the DNA they had on file for Farrell from a previous felony.
It was a positive match.
As investigators obtained search and arrest warrants, deputies kept Farrell's residence under surveillance overnight, Gore said.
They arrested Farrell outside his home around 2:30 p.m. Monday on a burglary charge.
Meanwhile, worried parents have been looking under beds, combing through closets and double checking locks at the apartment complex where this all happened.
The mother in the second incident said she’s now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder from the ordeal.
She is having a difficult time sleeping, and she doesn’t like to think about what the suspect’s motives were.
"I'm going through a lot of emotions right now," the mother said. "I couldn't make it through work today. It's one thing if they're coming in to rob you, but it's pretty apparent they were coming in because they had other intentions because of the other incidents."
The unease carried over to other neighbors in the complex.
Evelyn Varela, who lives next door to one of the apartments broken into, felt like the complex was being watched.
“My guess is maybe it was somebody who has been watching and kind of knows who lives where and who has kids,” said Varela. “So that's what's scary.”
She and her two children, ages 8 and 10, have been afraid since they heard about the incidents.
“I feel really unsafe now,” said Varela. “It could happen to anybody, and everybody would just assume you’re upstairs, nobody’s going to climb all the way up here and try to break in. That happened to the neighbor. Now I’m extra paranoid.”
On Sunday, the apartment managers sent out a notice to remind all residents to lock their doors.
Farrell was transported to the Vista Jail.
Sheriff Gore said he expects more charges to come out of these two incidents and is encouraging any other potential victims to come forward.