Genealogy testing links suspect to 1991 cold case, ‘series’ of sex assaults

Updated: Dec. 18, 2019 at 11:55 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A big break in a 1991 sex assault has linked a 59-year-old man to the cold case, and potentially to a series of sex assaults, police said Wednesday. The case marks the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s first genealogy-based case.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg detectives say Kevin McNamee is facing multiple charges in sex assaults dating back to 1991.

Detectives say a woman was sleeping in her Monroe Road-area home when the suspect, later identified as McNamee, climbed through her window, burglarized, “bound” and “violently sexually assaulted” her.

Evidence from the sex assault was tested in 1991, but it wasn’t until 2005 that DNA from the case was retested with updated technology.

Detectives say the suspect’s DNA profile initially didn’t find a match in the national database. In 2008, detectives say a match in the case emerged in another sexual assault, “which led us to start investigating a series of cases," detectives say.

“We were kind of at a loss [of] what to do because we had a profile but we didn’t know who it was,” Cold Case Detective Darrell Price said.

The Sexual Assault Kit Initiative offered to fund genealogy, and through that testing, McNamee was identified as the suspect in the sex assaults, Price says.

McNamee interviewed by detectives and charged with first-degree burglary, second-degree rape, second-degree sex offense and second-degree kidnapping.

“McNamee’s criminal history includes 19 separate charges for burglaries and break-ins which occurred in 1984, several for which he was convicted and incarcerated for between 1984 and 1990,” police say.

Detectives say McNamee remains in custody.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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