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DNA match leads to arrest in 28-year-old rape and kidnapping cold case out of Owensboro

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Robert Shelton mug shot

Robert Shelton mug shot (Catawba County, North Carolina Jail)

Police in Owensboro, Kentucky say a DNA match has solved a decades-old cold case.

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEVV) — Police in Owensboro, Kentucky say a DNA match has closed a decades-old cold case.

The Owensboro Police Department announced Tuesday that an arrest warrant had been served in connection to a rape and kidnapping case that from 1994.

According to OPD, a 19-year-old woman was kidnapped near Brescia University and assaulted in Owensboro back in December 1994, before being taken to Indiana where the assault continued.

In a recent review of the case conducted by OPD investigators, the Indiana State Police Lab was contacted. ISP authorities said they still had DNA evidence from the case on file that was entered before the development of the Combined DNA Index System, or "CODIS."

ISP was asked to reopen the case and to retest the DNA, which developed a potential suspect in the 28-year-old case, OPD says. 

After a DNA match was made through testing, OPD says 59-year-old Robert Shelton was arrested on a warrant by authorities in North Carolina. They say he faces charges of kidnapping, sexual abuse, and rape in connection with the case.

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