DNA Leads to Arrest in 13-Year-Old Rape Case

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dna solves sexual assault caseThe Long Beach Police Department and the United States Marshals Service, working in concert, arrested a suspect for a sexual assault that took place in Long Beach in 1998.

In March of 1998, the 33 year-old female victim reported that a male suspect had entered her home in the area of Studebaker Road and Wardlow Road and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint.  As part of that investigation, officers gathered evidence, including DNA from the scene.

In 2010, the Long Beach Police Department received a DNA match on a cold case in which the suspect, now 32 year-old Willie S. Hines, was identified.  Long Beach Police detectives worked in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service from the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force and the District of Central California, both of which are located in Los Angeles, in determining the suspect’s whereabouts.  On January 7, 2011, Long Beach Police detectives and U.S. Marshal’s personnel apprehended Hines outside a motel in the 11400 block of Long Beach Boulevard in the City of Lynwood.  Hines was booked for sexual assault and was initially being held at the Long Beach City Jail on a $1,000,000 warrant.  Hines is scheduled for arraignment on 1/26/11 and is currently being held by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The field of DNA testing has changed and improved significantly in the last several years, and a national DNA database has been created and greatly expanded over time.  Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell stated, “Continuing advances in DNA testing have allowed detectives to re-visit cold cases and identify suspects, which was not possible before these advances.  This type of improved technology and working together with other law enforcement entities at all levels will only continue to enhance the abilities of investigators to solve crime and remove violent offenders from the street.”

The U.S. Marshals Service was instrumental in assisting the Long Beach Police Department with locating the suspect.  “It is always gratifying to make an arrest in a case like this,” said David Singer, United States Marshals Service of the District of Central California.  “In these instances, we are telling fugitives that we are still looking for you.  Though a considerable amount of time may have passed since this crime was committed, we are determined to bring you to justice.”

(via the City of Long Beach)

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