Local Rape Occurred In 1997

POSTED: 5:16 pm EST February 21, 2005
UPDATED: 6:09 pm EST February 21, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A Columbus rape case from the 1990s has been reopened after DNA tests linked it to two rapes in Michigan, NBC 4's Mike Bowersock reported.

The 1997 rape was a strange case for Columbus investigators because the rapist did not know his victim. But science shows that the attacker may be a serial rapist.

Within the last few weeks, a DNA match was made to rape cases near Lansing, Mich., in 1994 and suburban Detroit in 1995.

A composite sketch was made of the Columbus rapist. The man's looks might have changed in the eight years since the attack. He was described as clean-shaven and of an average build.

"In this case, technology is helping us out a lot," said Columbus police Sgt. Brent Mull. "We were able to use today's technology to crimes that occurred years ago."

In the 1997 Columbus rape, the attacker walked to a woman's home, knocked on the door and asked the woman if he could use the restroom. He told her that he was new to the neighborhood. He then pushed his way inside.

All of the cases had similarities, Bowersock reported. The rapist placed a pillowcase over the heads of the victims and used latex gloves so he would not leave fingerprints.