PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — DNA evidence helped solve a rape that happened nearly 25 years ago in the City of Pittsburgh.
The suspect was arrested in California a few days ago thanks to a DNA match.
The rape happened in Shadyside back in 1988.
“It’s not very often that you get to help somebody who was a victim so long ago,” April Noelle Campbell, with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, said.
The victim found Keith Wood in media reports while researching her case. Wood, named the “East End Rapist” was responsible for at least five sex assaults in 2002.
The woman thought Wood may have raped her and called Pittsburgh police about a year ago.
“When she called me, I looked up the case file, found that we did have a rape kit and DNA, so I asked them to run it,” Campbell said.
Wood was not a DNA match, but a California man named Stevey Kiser, who lived in Pittsburgh in the 1980s, was a match.
Investigators say there are numerous cases like this, but crime labs don’t have the staff or money to handle them.
“I don’t know of a single crime lab that just has the resources to run everything as it comes in,” Allegheny County Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams said. “This is a national problem.”
The suspect is now in the Allegheny County Jail thanks to a diligent police officer and a victim who would not give up.
“It shows that rape victims don’t ever totally get over it,” Campbell said. “…It has to be scary to know that that person who did this has been out there since ’88.”
A California law requires a DNA sample to be taken when you are booked and brought to jail.
Without that law, this case may have never been solved.