Would you have recognized the serial rapist?

Robert Blainey, before and after / photos: UPD

It TMs a question that could have impacted the search for a dangerous man. Would you have known the man who was on the run from police was the same man shown in the original mug shot issued by police?

A side by side comparison of the mug shots released by police of the serial rapist found this week after a massive manhunt is making heads spin. The images are of the same man, Robert Blainey, but they look remarkably different.

"I wouldn't think the guy on the left and the right, is the same person," said Tony Rappa. "It's shocking, I'm just glad that they caught him."

One image was put out several weeks ago when Blainey was the subject of a search across several Central New York counties. It shows him wearing glasses, his head shaved. The newest mug shot offers a totally different presentation. In the most recent mug shot, Blainey appears much older. Gone are the glasses and his hair is grown out and he has a beard. It is clear from the current image of Blainey many people would have had a very hard time recognizing that he was the same person who was the subject of such an intense manhunt.

"Would you recognize him?" asked our reporter Caitlin Nuclo. "Not at all, not at all," said Quincy Mack. "Shows you how quickly people can change."

45-year-old Robert Blainey is being held in the Oneida County Jail, but has not been charged in the death of a Utica motel owner. Police say 68-year-old Linda Turner was sexually abused and strangled to death . He body was found last week at the Davis Motel. Investigators anticipate charging Blainey with murder, robbery, and rape.

Police say Blainey was found driving Turner TMs Toyota convertible in Montoursville, Pennsylvania earlier this week.

Blainey was convicted of attempted rape in 1984 for forcing himself on an eight-year-old girl. Four years later, while on parole, he was again arrested and convicted of raping two women in Madison County. He was released from prison in 2009. Authorities say Blainey went missing after failing to report to his parole officer.

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