Local News

Cold case unit finds DNA evidence in 1992 Fayetteville rape

Posted May 22, 2015 6:19 p.m. EDT

— A new Fayetteville Police Department unit dedicated to cold cases involving rapes and sexual assaults has turned up new clues in a 23-year-old rape case where the woman was beaten and left for dead.

Lt. John Somerindyke, who heads the unit, said investigators have obtained DNA evidence in the case, but so far, it hasn't led to any suspects.

The woman said she is encouraged by the police's efforts.

"That's what you need for rape victims is to be respected and have compassion," she said.

WRAL News doesn't reveal the identities of sex assault victims.

The woman said she had finished cleaning an office at the Lafayette Memorial Park cemetery on Ramsey Street in September 1992 when she was attacked by three men outside the building.

"They came behind me as I lifted the vacuum cleaner into the car and knocked me out," she said. "There were three knots on the back of my skull."

She was thrown in the trunk of her Toyota Corolla and driven to a secluded area in Harnett County.

"I tried scratching at the taillight to get out," she said. "The next memory that I have was of being on the ground, being beaten in my face, kicked and raped."

"I knew he was trying to break my neck to kill me," she said of one of her attackers.

The men left her for dead, driving her car back to the cemetery, where they tried to drive it into a duck pond.

Somerindyke said they even used the cemetery work truck to try to push the Corolla into the pond after it got stuck in some mud.

Before leaving, the men spray painted anything they touched in the car to hide any evidence left behind, he said.

The woman said she hopes bringing new light to the case will lead to justice for her and other possible victims.

"It wasn't just me. I'm not their first victim," she said. "I lived to walk away. I have a real fear that somebody didn't."