Local News

DNA links Hoke rape case to Fayetteville cases

Posted January 12, 2010

— Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said Tuesday evening that DNA evidence from an Aug. 10 sexual assault in the Lindsey Road area east of Raeford matches evidence from an unsolved sexual assault in Fayetteville.

The State Bureau of Investigation lab returned the evidence to Hoke County last week, Peterkin said in a statement, and other aspects of the case are similar to a series of burglaries and sexual assaults that Fayetteville police are investigating. Peterkin said he is reviewing other sexual assault cases in the county to determine if they could be linked as well.

Despite the similarities, Fayetteville police backed off an earlier characterization that a serial rapist is preying on local women.

"We just know there are similarities (in the Fayetteville cases), but does that mean that it's the same person? No," Sgt. Pam Brewington of the Fayetteville Police Department said. "Without the result from evidence comparisons, we can't say that any of these are specifically the same person."

The Fayetteville crimes began with on June 24, when a woman on Glenwick Drive reported that a man broke into her home and tried to sexually assault her. The next night, another woman on Glenwick Drive was raped and robbed by a burglar.

In November, two women on Ancestry Drive were sexually assaulted. Another rape and robbery occurred on Preston Woods Lane on Dec. 12.

On Christmas Day, a woman on Elm Street was raped by a man who broke into her home, and a woman on Tryon Drive was raped and robbed on Jan. 4. The latest incident occurred on Elk Road in Hope Mills on Sunday night.

In each case, police said, a man broke into an apartment between 10 p.m. and 7:30 a.m. and assaulted a woman who was home alone. Investigators have only a vague description of the man's appearance.

Police couldn't say whether the women were followed home before the attacks.

The woman in the Hoke County case reported that someone broke into her home at 1:20 a.m. and raped her at gunpoint, authorities said. The assailant matched the vague description given by victims of the Fayetteville assaults, authorities said.

Army investigators said Tuesday that a case on Fort Bragg with similar circumstances was under investigation, but they said there was no evidence that the crime was linked to the Fayetteville cases.

In the Fort Bragg case, a man broke into several homes in the Ste. Mere Eglise neighborhood in December and sexually assaulted a woman during one burglary. The assailant in that case is described as a light-skinned Hispanic or black man in his mid-20s with a slender build. He is between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 9 inches tall and was last seen wearing a black stocking cap, a dark hooded sweatshirt, a dark jacket and possibly blue jeans and dark tennis shoes with bright accents.

Fayetteville police didn't publicly connect the local cases until Monday, when they announced that they had created a task force to investigate the crimes and urged women to be vigilant.

Brewington said neighbors were notified after each assault, with detectives going door to door. Police Chief Tom Bergamine said investigators needed time to compare the cases.

"We have to give these folks time to do some things before we just start putting out and airing information," Bergamine said.

Brewington said police also didn't want to alarm people unnecessarily.

"We'd have public panic on a day-to-day basis," she said.

John Thomas, who lives on Glenwick Drive, said he hears for his girlfriend's safety.

"It's just a scary thought," Thomas said. "God forbid anything happens to my family or anybody else's family. That's very scary."

Although some of the cases involved forcible entry into an apartment, police urged women to lock their doors and windows before going to bed and to activate an alarm system if they have one. They also recommended keeping a cell phone handy in case of emergency and to call 911 if they notice any suspicious activity.

Anyone with information about the assaults is asked to call Detective J. Rodriguez of the Fayetteville Police Department at 910-433-1856.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • TrooperChik Jan 13, 2010

    cccherry68...I agree.. I think a personal up close visit with Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson would be appropriate...

  • nanasix Jan 13, 2010

    Be observant of what goes on around you, perhaps if "any suspecious individual" seen in the area were reported, they might catch him before he gets to another victim. I think making this type of news public would entice women to lock their doors and windows, but won't stop an individual who's stalking someone he wants to get to. The important thing is that they are reported quickly, getting law enforcement in the area as fast as possible. Not familiar with the area, but was a cop in Va., After backing up the unit on a rape call and listening to the info relay, I went to a used car lot nearby, and went there, I knew there would be an unlocked car and almost every man wants to go to sleep after sex, in a few minutes of checking cars, there he was asleep in the back seat. He was taken into custody, transported to the hospital and identified by the victim, and ultimately sentenced to 30 yrs. Justice does prevail...help your authorities as much as possible.

  • Anneleise Jan 13, 2010

    The court system won't do anything but let him back out to hurt more people. Hopefully, he'll try this at the right house with the right person. Then they can just bag him up & call him a tax break.

  • WHEEL Jan 13, 2010

    Well it looks like the SBI has their turn around time on DNA tests down to 5 months. That's a real improvement on the 2 years or not doing them at all on rape kits that it once was.

  • froggytroat Jan 13, 2010


    You said:

    "I'm amazed that you have the audacity to speak to people and fellow goloers with that kind of language."

    I was simply pointing out that anyone with half a brain can find just what they are complaining about not being public information.

    I'm not the smartest, and don't claim to be, but people complain over and over and need to learn how to use a search engine.

  • jrfergerson Jan 13, 2010

    WRAL needs to seriously employ someone to proof their articles before putting them out.

  • pgonz62 Jan 12, 2010

    This is a terrifying thought for any woman, or child. But with the way are laws are now, when caught they will be back on the streets to continue. I work security, there is so many people that don't take every precaustion they should. Women as well as men have a habit of going to sleep on their couches and on their beds with their doors open or not locked. Thinking they are safe, because they are in their own homes. NOT SO! People have got to be more causious. There are all types out looking for a quick way to get money, drugs, or sex. And don't care about you or your rights. Please be careful. Lock your doors and window.

  • djofraleigh Jan 12, 2010

    >Rape reports will not appear to help protect the identities of rape victims.<

    Why won't the reports appear to protect identities? They appeared to to me. To protect the identity of myself, I will display it.

    (one of those who can't read well enough to sentences put in poor order.)

  • djofraleigh Jan 12, 2010

    my prediction:

    He is going to know someone or live on or right off Glenwick Dr where the first assault happened. He will just moved there or gotten out of jail in since this summer. He might be in the military. The coverage by the media will not deter him, but entice him to continue.

  • donnied1952 Jan 12, 2010


    I'm amazed that you have the audacity to speak to people and fellow goloers with that kind of language.

    What are you? The smartest, most educated person on the web, I don't think so. Be ashamed of yourself.