Runaway Sex Offender Found Hiding Under Mattress Days After Removing GPS

Joseph Serapiglia was described as a "dangerous felon who has exhibited a violent nature and is a threat to the communities of Southern California"

A violent paroled rapist sought by authorities after cutting off his GPS monitor last week was taken into custody Wednesday when he was found hiding under a mattress at a Southern California home more than 40 miles from his San Fernando Valley residence.

Joseph Serapiglia, 43, has been living in San Fernando since April, but disappeared last week and police asked for the public's help to find him. Serapiglia, last seen Friday near Sepulveda and Roscoe boulevards in Panorama City, was found Wednesday hiding under a mattress at a Palmdale residence, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Deputies responded to the home in the 36000 block of Auburn Court at about 2:30 a.m. after a report of a burglary. They first arrested a man on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance, then found Serapiglia during a search of the residence.

Serapiglia provided his real name after giving deputies several false names, according to the sheriff's department.

Details regarding a court date were not immediately available, but the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office said arraignment will likely not occur Wednesday.

Since his release, Serapiglia wore a court-ordered GPS monitoring device, but he cut it off before disappearing, police said earlier this week.

"Those things aren't removed by accident.," LAPD Detective Meghan Aguilar said. "When they are taken off, it's deliberate."

Authorities described him as a "dangerous felon who has exhibited a violent nature and is a threat to the communities of Southern California."

Serapiglia was paroled after serving 23 years of a 42-year sentence for attempted murder and rape. He was 20 years old at the time of the attempted murder, when he beat a woman, stabbed her six times, beat her again and tossed her body over a 25-foot embankment, according to investigators.

The woman survived.

Police said they did not know whether Serapiglia had a lawyer, and that he likely did not attain one after being put on parole.


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