HAMILTON, OH – Advancements in technology related to DNA evidence have been instrumental in creating resolutions for some cold cases.
In Ohio, investigators say they were able to track down an alleged rapist who went undetected for over 20 years thanks to what was described as an ancestral DNA database.
.@JudgeCallan set a $4 million cash bond for suspected serial rapist Stoney Brown. He was in court today. @JosephTDeters says DNA in a genealogy site led them to Brown who is charged with rapes in the mid-90’s in the Clifton area. pic.twitter.com/fD5Jj9QHNo
— Angenette Levy (@Angenette5) May 19, 2020
Stoney Brown, now 62-years-old, has been indicted on 19 counts of rape, kidnapping and aggravated burglary in connection with four rapes that took place in the mid-1990s.
Investigators say that Brown raped at least four women while in his mid-30s when living nearby the University of Cincinnati.
Having gone undetected for so long, Brown was said to have functioned as a traffic engineer for the City of Cincinnati for 30 years. It was reported that he just retired from his position back in January of this year.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters described the accused as the “devil” when remarking on the case. Yet, what led to the arrest of Brown is quite telling of how advanced the science and technology has become revolving around the examination of DNA.
When police first investigated the cases back in the 1990s, DNA evidence was collected at the various scenes where they were alleged to have taken place. However, at the time, there wasn’t a hit within the active DNA database to tie the crimes to.
By 2008, prosecutors indicted an unknown person, known as charging a “John Doe,” for the crimes that Brown is being charged for today. Access to an ancestral DNA database recently gave them Brown as a possible suspect.
Prosecutor: Ancestry database ties retired city worker to rapes of UC students https://t.co/aP8F5EjEGy
— WLWT (@WLWT) May 20, 2020
This revelation led to investigators rummaging through the accused’s trash to see if there was a direct hit on the DNA. According to Deters, the DNA was a match:
“They got DNA from materials out of his garbage and matched it to the known materials found on the girls.”
After word got out about the arrest of Brown, a fifth woman said that she recognized him as her rapist from back in 1990. The anonymous woman was 22-years-old at the time that she was attacked:
“When he grabbed me, he put a knife to my neck. I saw him in the mirror when he grabbed me.”
At the time of the woman’s attack, she was living at a residence located on Bishop street and was also a UC student at that point. She believes Brown to be the man that broke into her home, raping her at knife point.
According to the victim, there was no mistaking Brown as her attacker once she saw his mugshot:
“There he was. Those eyes are just unforgettable, and I never forget a face. My whole body shook, and I never thought that they would ever catch this guy. I gave up all hope of that.”
Unfortunately, due to the statute of limitations for the acts committed against the anonymous woman, prosecutors won’t be able to levy any additional charges against Brown in relation to that case. However, the woman is simply glad that the Brown has been arrested and will have to answer for his alleged offenses against the four other victims.
The anonymous woman was grateful for the intuitive work enacted by the detective behind cracking these cold cases:
“[The detective] just changed all these women’s lives. My life changed.”
Brown has reportedly plead not guilty to the charges levied against him. His bond was set at $4 million as well. According to Deters, if convicted, Brown will likely never see a day of freedom again:
“He is facing 190 years in prison, and he deserves every single day of it.”
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