Miami Beach forensic sketch artist speaks about what goes into each of her pieces

'She was very certain on certain features,' artist says about recent victim

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – On Tuesday, the Miami Beach Police Department released a sketch of a sexual assault suspect based on the victim's description.

Lenett Holbrook, the department's latent crime scene expert and forensic sketch artist, said the victim's bravery and good memory helped her craft the drawing now seen on fliers.

"She was very certain on certain features, such as the eyes, the eyebrows," Holbrook said.

Holbrook said she always had a knack for drawing but never considered herself to be a fine artist.

When she started working crime scenes for Miami Beach police in 2000, she enrolled in forensic sketching courses taught by former experts with the New York City Police Department. 

Holbrook's worlds would soon collide.

"It was a dream come true to be able to do that," she said.

In Holbrook's very first sketch of an armed robbery suspect that led to an arrest, the similarities between the sketch and the mugshot are striking: the same deep lines in the forehead; similar creases surrounding the chin.

In another case, the victim said her attacker looked a little bit like an actor. Holbrook used a combination of her description and a photograph of the actor found online.

"She said he looked just like this guy but not as good-looking," Holbrook said.

In this latest case, police said a man sexually assaulted the victim in her apartment in the 8300 block of Crepi Boulevard. The woman said she was sleeping on her couch when the intruder came in through an unlocked window. He exposed himself and touched the woman in her pelvis area, detectives said.

Holbrook said the woman was adamant to share her description.

"In this case, she was very to the point and she was ready to talk," Holbrook said. "I really hope they catch this guy. To me, it sounds like someone that's not going to stop. He's probably going to try this again. And I would hate for that to happen."

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Miami Beach Police Department or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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