DNA from Nashville stabbing helps to solve 1998 rape, kidnapping

DNA from Nashville stabbing helps to solve 1998 rape, kidnapping

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Ricky McDonald (Source: Blount County) Ricky McDonald (Source: Blount County)

MARYVILLE (WATE) - A match on a DNA database led to the recent indictment of a Rockford man for a 1998 rape and kidnapping.

Ricky McDonald, 56, was indicted on kidnapping and rape charges stemming from a Sept. 1998 incident in Maryville.

In that incident, a 52 year old local woman was reported missing by her husband when she didn't return home from work.

An hour later, she was found at a man's house on Butterfly Gap Road asking for help, covered in blood.

She later told police a man kidnapped her from a parking lot, drove her to multiple locations, raped her several times and stabbed her.

A suspect was never caught.

"Certainly here, like a lot of communities, you hope something like that never happens, but it can happen," said Deputy Chief Greg Cooke.

Cooke was an officer in 1998 and remembers the case.

For 15 years he said they looked for leads but came up empty handed.

"We often take a look at our old cases and revisit them," Cooke said.

Then in 2011, McDonald was arrested in Nashville for a stabbing in a homeless camp. His DNA was entered into the CODIS database, where suspects' DNA is kept on file.

"We got notified that there was a possible match," Cooke explained.

After McDonald came up as a match, his DNA was tested again and found to be a positive match to the unknown sample from the 1998 rape and kidnapping.

Cooke credits the hard working detectives that never gave up.

"They had worked hard to collect the evidence at the scene and getting it entered into the data base and here it is, 15 years later getting an arrest."

Cooke said the victim, who is in her late 60's now, has been in touch with detectives over the years and is aware of the development. He said she is pleased the man possible responsible is behind bars.

McDonald was transferred to Blount County last week and remains in custody as he awaits the trial.

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