Darold Wayne Bowden

Ramey Street Rapist: Police nab suspected serial rapist through same DNA testing used to capture Golden State Killer

Police in North Carolina said they’ve arrested a man in connection with a series of six unsolved rapes committed more than a decade ago.

According to a statement issued to ABC News, Darold Wayne Bowden, 43, is believed to have tortured and raped five women and one child between March 2006 and January 2008. The suspect gained the name the “Ramsey Street Rapist” because the six incidents occurred along or near the Ramsey Street Corridor in Fayetteville.

For years, police remained stumped about the suspect’s identity. DNA left at the scene turned up nothing and victims provided police with varying descriptions of their attacker. The Fayetteville Observer reported that the victims claimed they were assaulted by a white or Hispanic man with short, dark hair who stood anywhere from 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet 3 inches tall and had a thin to average build.

A decade later, and Fayetteville police said they finally identified Bowden as their man using Parabon NanoLabs’ genetic genealogy testing—the same method reportedly used to capture the Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo. Fayetteville Lt. John Somerindyke said they gave DNA from their investigation to the Virginia-based company and “they did their magic with it,” according to The News & Observer.

“They were able to triangulate and figure out a strong person of interest for us,” Somerindyke said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. “We were able to obtain his DNA, get it off to the state crime lab, and we got a match yesterday.”

“We got the guy.”

In an email to The New York Times, CeCe Moore, Parabon’s lead genetic genealogist, said they’ve helped law enforcement make eight arrests. In the Fayetteville case, Moore said an unknown person uploaded their DNA to GEDmatch, where it was then “compared to the DNA of about one million other participants who voluntarily uploaded their DNA to this site.”

Moore said Parabon provides a list of people who share “segments of identical DNA” with the subject. They then use those matches to create a comprehensive family tree that, in this case, allowed police to identify Bowden as the suspected Ramsey Street Rapist.

Police haven’t revealed how they’ve obtained Bowden’s DNA. Somerindyke did reveal that Bowden was born and raised in the Fayetteville area and remained there even after the string of rapes.

Bowden is being held on $18.8 million bond. WTVD reported that he’s facing multiple charges, including forcible rape, statutory rape, indecent liberties with a child, and kidnapping, for his possible role in the following attacks:

  • March 31, 2006: Village at Carvers Falls Apartments
  • August 23, 2006: 4400 block of Ramsey Street
  • February 12, 2007: Apartments on Bubble Creek Court
  • March 6, 2007: Village at Carvers Falls Apartments
  • September 18, 2007: Heather Ridge Apartments
  • January 26, 2008: Apartments on Bubble Creek Court

[Featured image: Darold Wayne Bowden/Fayetteville Police Department]