FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) – For more than a decade, six rapes went unsolved in Fayetteville. Police got a break in the cases through genetic testing. Victims and families are praising CeCe Moore as a hero.
Moore considers herself a genetic genealogist, and by doing her job, she helped capture the man now being accused as the Ramsey Street Rapist. It’s a closer look into the DNA science that’s now turning cold cases into convictions.
Moore works to piece together genetic puzzles for DNA technology company Parabond, which is based in Virginia. Her main job as a chief genetic genealogist dealing with DNA has recently changed.
“Since I started working with law enforcement in May of this year, I have been involved in 28 successful identifications in law-enforcement cases.” Moore said.
Many are high-profile cases, like the Benjamin Kyle case — man who had amnesia and didn’t know his identity. Moore found Kyle’s family. She also helped solve part of the April Tinsley case, which was a 30-year old cold case cracked July 2018.
“April Tinsley case out of Indiana has certainly had a lot of attention from the media because it was such a horrible crime where a young girl was kidnapped, raped, and murdered, and the perpetrator was leaving notes around town about what he had done and threatening other children.” said Moore.
Just two months later, Moore began working on another cold case — Fayetteville’s Ramsey Street rapes.
“On the Ramsey Street Rapist case, we employed the genetic genealogy techniques that were first used on the Golden State killer case, and has since been used on over 25 additional law enforcement cases by Parabon.” Moore said. “What we’re doing is we’re comparing crime scene DNA to a public database called GED Match that has about 1.2 million people participating.”
GED Match is a database that lets you submit your DNA test results from companies like Ancestry or 23 and Me. A search is then run on DNA to help map out a person’s family tree.
In the case of the Ramsey Street Rapist, Fayetteville police provided Moore with a DNA sample that the suspect left behind at a crime scene.
She then found a DNA match in their database and built a family tree from that match to see if anyone in that family was in the right place at the right time to commit the rapes.
That lead Fayetteville police to Darold Wayne Bowden.
CBS 17 has learned that police conducted three separate sting operations involving Bowden to get his DNA and then match it with the DNA found at the crime scene.
Police arrested him soon after.
“It’s especially satisfying in this case because they were still living victims and most of the cases I work, unfortunately, the victims are deceased. And so, the Ramsey Street rapist case was different and that I could help provide answers for these victims.” Moore told us.
One of those victims is Kobi Haschen. She was the fourth of six women attacked during the Ramsey Street rapes between 2006 and 2008.
Haschen and Moore developed a friendship during the search for the suspect — a friendship 11 years in the making.
“It’s been extra special getting to hear directly from a victim of one of these perpetrators that’s not something that happens very often,” she said.
Moore is now busy working to solve other cold cases from around the country. She said that genetic genealogy is only in its infancy stages when it comes to solving crimes. She believes science and the growing database could possibly stop criminals in their tracks.
“There shouldn’t be a Ramsey Street Rapist anymore, serial rapist or a serial killer, because we should be able to stop them much earlier and lessen the number of victims that suffer because of them.” Moore said.
There are 22 million who have already used the consumer genetic sites for DNA. For privacy reasons, GED Match can not use that information. Only 1.2 million people have released and uploaded their results from the consumer sites to GED Match, and that has led to many cases being solved with dozens more cold cases about to crack.