DNA Found in Midland Helps Identify Rape Suspect in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina - A man, wanted on sexual assault charges, was arrested in South Carolina thanks to DNA evidence. 

However, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officials say the suspect also had ties to the Midland area. 

According to a release from the CMPD, Lance Rontavis Elam has been arrested and charged in two sexual assault incidents that occurred back in 2016. 

Police officials say they were able to connect Elam to all three investigations via a DNA sample after his arrest. 

The investigation began back in January of 2016 when officers were called to a home in North Carolina about a sexual assault. 

The victim told police that someone broke into her apartment and "forcibly raped her at gunpoint," before taking cash and fleeing the scene, the release reads. 

A second similar report was made to officers on August 7. 

Police say a victim reported an unknown man entered her home and "forcibly raped her," before fleeing the scene on foot. 

DNA samples were collected from both scenes, according to the release. 

Then, officers in North Carolina began working with the Midland Police Department. 

Officials say the DNA collected at the sexual assault scenes matched with an unsolved burglary case in Midland, however no suspect had been identified as matching the DNA. 

On April 28, investigators had a breakthrough in the case. 

South Carolina police arrested Elam on sexual assault and burglary charges in their area., according to the release. 

A DNA sample was then collected from Elam and confirmed to be a match in both sexual assault cases in Charlotte as well as a burglary in Midland. 

Following the revelation of new information, police issued a total of sixteen warrants for Elam. 

Charges against Elam include:

  • Six counts of rape,
  • Four counts of sex offense
  • Two counts of Breaking and entering
  • Two counts of Kidnapping
  • Robbery with a dangerous weapon
  • Assault with a deadly weapon. 

Elam is currently in custody in Blufton, South Carolina. 

In the meantime, Midland Police officials say detectives are currently investigating Elam as a person of interest in two burglary of a habitation cases that occurred back in 2014. 

However, no charges have been issued by the MPD as of Friday.

 

We are working to gather more information on this developing story and will provide updates as soon as they are available.

 


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