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Crime & Justice

Charlotte police use DNA to ID a suspect in at least 15 sexual assaults from the 1990s

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they’ve identified the man dubbed the Myers Park rapist. Police say they believe he committed at least 15 sexual assaults in the 1990s. It took DNA analysis and genealogy tracing to find the suspect.

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CMPD
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David Edward Doran

In all the years detectives spent investigating these cases, the name David Edward Doran never came up. In most of these cases, the suspect would break into a home, armed with a knife, force the victim to a different location where he would sexually assault them.

CMPD’s cold case unit secured a grant to run evidence through genetic forensic testing. Sgt. Darrell Price with the department’s cold case unit says detectives received the results early this year.

“What they did was they were able to tell you our person is going to be related to a great-great grandfather or a great-great grandmother and then we have to do the legwork to figure out who possibly was in Charlotte, who had the opportunity, who had that particular mindset to do these crimes,” Price said.

Detectives spent hundreds of hours going through the internet and poring over sites like ancestry.com. They came up with Doran’s name and were able to match the DNA with a known sample from him. He died in 2008. Price says he was arrested in Charlotte in 2001 for possession of burglary tools and that he was convicted of that crime.

Police notified the victims. All but two were under 18 at the time. Price says they were all grateful, but there was a mix of emotions.

“Our closure means nothing compared to the closure of the victims. But we’re all thrilled. It brings some kind of conclusion to lots and lots of hard work,” Price said.

Price says Doran was responsible for at least two other cases in the Charlotte area. Doran also lived in California, Texas and Ohio. CMPD is alerting law enforcement in those states to see if they have any cases fitting the profile.

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