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Woodline Rapist Arrested After Genetics Helps Solve Two Decades-Old Sexual Battery Cold Cases in Orange County, Orlando

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The Orlando Police Department has arrested a man who raped two women in cold cases dating back to 2002. Both cases were solved using new genealogical technology.

The Orlando Police Department Special Victims Unit teamed up with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and FDLE’s Genealogy Division to arrest Dwight Arthur Harris.

Harris is suspected of raping a woman in Orange County and another in Orlando in the wooded areas surrounding their condos and apartments. 

OPD Chief Orlando Rolón says these two decades-old cold cases were solved using DNA and genealogical family trees. Rolón says this should encourage more victims of sexual assault to come forward.

“But the fact that we have the technology that now supports the ability to identify offenders and tie to individuals that can be held accountable for those actions. I think it’s the biggest thing that we want to deliver, the message that we want to deliver today.”

Orange County Sheriff John Mina says Harris has been charged with two counts of sexual battery with a deadly weapon or physical force. 

Mina says detectives are using the same technology to see if the suspect could be linked to any other unsolved cases of sexual battery.

“We hear our victims. We start by believing and we never stop investigating these cases. And we’ll use any technology and techniques and means necessary to bring these folks to justice.”

Detectives suspect a third rape, committed in 2011 might also be tied to Harris.


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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter

Danielle Prieur is a general reporter for 90.7 News. She studied journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and interned at 101.9 WDET. She is originally from the metro Detroit area.

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