Man arrested in 1993 cold case rape after he's identified by DNA: Police

Newark Police Department(NEWARK, Del.) — Twenty-six years after a young woman was sexually assaulted in the middle of the night in Delaware, a man unknown to police at the time has been arrested after DNA evidence linked him to the scene.

It was just after 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 4, 1993, when a 22-year-old woman walking near the University of Delaware in Newark was attacked and sexually assaulted, Newark police said at a Tuesday news conference.

A composite sketch was released and witnesses were interviewed, but no suspects were identified, police said.

The man taken into custody this month, Jeffrey King, hadn’t been named as a potential suspect at the time, police said.

The case went cold for decades. It was reopened in November 2017.

The sexual assault kit was sent to a private lab where male DNA was identified, police said. That DNA was entered into the law enforcement database CODIS, but there wasn’t a match.

The DNA was then sent to the DNA company Parabon Nanolabs, where analysts compared the unknown crime scene sample to “samples in various databases, including a public genealogy website with DNA samples, to provide a list of possible suspects,” police said. On genealogy websites, many people upload DNA to connect with relatives and explore family histories.

That list of possible suspects was then narrowed down, said police, and King was one name on that list provided by Parabon.

In August detectives surveilled King and collected a discarded item, which was sent to a lab where it was determined that King’s DNA was consistent with that from the 1993 crime, police said.

King, now 54, was 28 years old at the time of the assault, police said. The victim and suspect were strangers, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings said.

On Sept. 30, a grand jury indicted King for two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, which is what the charge was called in 1993. That charge has since been changed to rape, police added.

King, of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, turned himself into Newark police on Oct. 10 and has since posted bail, police said. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday. No attorney is listed for him.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.