Local News

Fayetteville police make 2 arrests in cold case sexual assaults

Posted February 26, 2016

— Fayetteville police announced on Friday that two arrests have been made in connection with sexual assaults reported in 2003 and 2004.

The department's Cold Case Sexual Assault Unit arrested Joshua Mills, 37, of the 1100 block of Aventon Gin Road in Whitakers, in connection with a February 2003 rape.

In 2003, a woman told authorities she was trying to get from downtown Fayetteville to Raeford Road when a man stopped and offered her a ride. The man stopped the vehicle near Eastern Boulevard and Martin Luther King Jr. Freeway, punched her in the face and raped her, police said.

Police linked Mills to the crime with DNA evidence collected from the sexual assault kit, police said.

Mills, a registered sex offender, is charged with second-degree rape and assault on a female. He was taken into custody in Nash County and brought back to Cumberland County. He was in the Cumberland County jail Friday under a $150,000 secured bond.

"Our suspect picked her up, drove her down the street and assaulted her with his fists and raped her," said Lt. John Somerindyke, of the Fayetteville Police Department's Major Crimes Division.

Somerindyke said police investigated in 2003 but the case turned cold.

"Had no leads, no clues or anything," he said.

Fayetteville police also on Friday arrested Robert Brown, 62, of the 600 block of Volunteer Drive, in connection with a rape reported in July 2004.

According to authorities, Brown raped a 16-year-old girl in the area of Caledonia Circle and McLamb Drive.

Brown denied the allegation in 2004 and willingly submitted his DNA for comparison. In December 2005, Fayetteville police were notified by the State Crime Lab that the suspect's DNA was located in the girl's sexual assault kit. Attempts to re-establish contact with her were not productive, and the case was closed.

After a review of the case was conducted in 2015, Fayetteville police obtained warrants charging Brown with second-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and sexual battery.

Brown was taken to the Cumberland County jail Friday and is being held under a $500,000 secured bond.

Somerindyke said victims are often surprised at the new developments.

"They all tell me, "I thought they police forgot about me, I thought he police did not care about my case,'" he said.

Fayetteville police said Friday that the Cold Case Sexual Assault Unit will continue making contact with cold case sexual assault and rape survivors and will continue to include those survivors in the decision-making process about reopening investigations.​

Since June of 2015, arrests have been made in 11 cold case sexual assaults, Somerindyke said.

"There is going to be many more to come," he said.

Anyone with information about cold case sexual assaults should call the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-257-3668 or Crime Stoppers at 910-483-8477.


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