Man arrested for sexual assault case in Arizona’s DNA matches unsolved sex assault case in Cedar City

Southern Utah

CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) A 58-year-old man accused of sexual assaults in Arizona and Southern Utah more than 15 years ago has been arrested after advanced DNA analysis pointed investigators to his relatives.

Cedar City Police Sgt. Clint Pollock told ABC4’s Katie Karalis in an exclusive interview, detectives couldn’t solve a young woman’s sexual assault case for nearly 16 years, but last week’s arrest could bring much-needed closure for her and her family.

David Slade was arrested by the Coconino County Sheriff on Thursday and is facing charges of kidnapping, burglary, and sexual assault.

Authorities say the man’s DNA matched that of a suspect who sexually assaulted a young woman in her Flagstaff, Arizona home in April 2003. In that case, detectives were able to obtain DNA samples but had no one to compare them to.

That DNA profile later matched DNA of another suspect wanted for sexually assaulting a young woman in her Cedar City home in 2004, who entered her apartment in the early hours of the morning and raped her, officials say.

Detectives from both states knew the profiles were from the same man but were still unable to identify him.

Then, early last year, investigators identified two potential relatives of the suspect, by matching the DNA profile with samples of people arrested or convicted of other felony crimes.

That DNA analysis led them to Slade and after collecting his DNA on December 27, investigators learned he was a match in the Arizona case.

“We’re excited that with the new technologies that have come out over the years that we’re able to solve crimes and hopefully make victims whole as best as we can,” said Pollock.

Slade is being held at the Coconino County Jail. Cedar City Police said charges related to their case will be submitted to the Iron County Attorney’s Office for review.

Correction: The headline recently said he was arrested in connection to the Cedar City case. That was incorrect and has been changed.

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