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CMPD identifies suspect in several sexual assault cases from the 1990s

The suspect, David Edward Doran, died on June 24, 2008.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has identified the suspect believed to be responsible for at least 15 sexual assault cold cases spanning the 1990s. 

The suspect, David Edward Doran, died on June 24, 2008.

The first known case he was connected to happened in June of 1990. CMPD said a suspect broke into a Myers Park-area home and sexually assaulted someone who was inside the home. 

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Police learned over the next nine years, there were several other cases that were "unique and similar in the modus operandi," the last of which happened in January of 1999. During this time, CMPD said the suspect was referred to as the alleged "Myers Park Rapist." 

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Detectives investigated each case extensively, according to CMPD. In 13 of the 15 cases, the victims were under the age of 18. In the majority of the cases in question, the suspect armed himself with a knife, broke into the home and moved the victim to a different location before assaulting them. 

As part of the investigation, detectives collected and analyzed DNA, but no CODIS matches were found. Instead, Doran was identified as a potential suspect through forensic genetic genealogy with the assistance of the Sexual Assault Initiative Grant (SAKI) and Parabon Laboratories. 

After additional DNA testing, CMPD confirmed Doran was the suspect in the cases but learned Doran had passed away in 2008. CMPD said Doran had been arrested in Mecklenburg County in 2001 for possession of burglary tools and was convicted, but they did not have his DNA sample from that arrest. 

"To finally have some closure -- I mean, our closure means nothing compared to the closure of the victims, but we're all thrilled it brings some kind of conclusion to lots and lots of hard work," CMPD Cold Case Sgt. Darrell Price said.

CMPD’s Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit began in 2006. In that time, it has cleared nearly 400 cases, as investigators work with CMPD's Crime Lab and other partners to outsource sexual assault kits for DNA testing. 

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