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DNA links man with 3 different rapes in Halifax County, police say

HALIFAX, N.C. (WNCN/WNCT) - A man who was involved in a burglary incident is facing rape charges after a DNA test showed he was connected to several sexual assault cases in the Halifax County area.

The Roanoke Rapids Police Department is still in an ongoing investigation into a burglary reported on May 24 near Raleigh Street.

Around 3:30 a.m., the Roanoke Rapids Police Department responded to Raleigh Street after a homeowner called the Halifax County 911 and said someone had been shot inside their residence.  

Officers arrived at the residence and the homeowner said that they were awakened by a noise from inside the residence.

The homeowner retrieved a firearm and went to investigate.

The homeowner confronted the intruder inside the residence and fired multiple shots at the suspect, striking him at least one time.  

The intruder fled the residence through the back door.

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The suspect was wearing all black and white gloves.

Additional law enforcement officers were called in to assist with setting up a perimeter and searching with K-9’s and bloodhounds.

Around 4:15 p.m., law enforcement received information that a subject was at a hospital with a possible gunshot wound.  

Roanoke Rapids investigators responded to the hospital to speak with the subject receiving treatment.

Wade Carter, 54, of Roanoke Rapids, was taken into custody and was served a warrant for first-degree burglary charge when he was cleared from the hospital.

He was identified as the main suspect of that incident and also connected to additional crimes committed in the area. 

Carter appeared in court on July 6 where he was served with 15 charges:

  • Incident reported near Taylor Street in December 2017:
    • Charges: burglary, first-degree rape, kidnapping and theft after breaking and entering.
    • Police said the victim reported that Carter was standing over them and that he sexually assaulted the victim.
    • Carter stole items from the residence and then left, police said.
  • Incident reported near Raleigh Street in December 2017:
    • The victim reported finding the door, where someone had unsuccessfully tried to break into the residence.
  • Incident reported near Monroe Street in April 2018:
    • Charges: burglary, attempted first-degree rape, common law robbery, assault inflicting serious bodily injury and kidnapping.
    • The victim reported that Carter was standing over them and that he sexually and physically assaulted the victim.
    • Carter demanded money from the victim, police said.
  • Incident reported near Jackson Street in May 2018:
    • Charges: burglary, first-degree rape, common law robbery, and kidnapping.
    • The victim reported that they were awakened by footsteps inside the residence coming up the stairway. The victim tried to close the bedroom door but Carter forced his way inside.
    • Police said the Carter sexually assaulted the victim and demanded money.
    • Carter wanted the victim to drive him to get more money from the ATM, police said.

The additional charges were the result of testing of evidence that was collected at each crime scene, and follow-up interviews with the victims and witnesses. 

Roanoke Rapids Police Chief Chuck Hasty said, “We had the DNA on file, but we had nothing to compare it to at that time. We were just waiting to see. We didn’t know if it was different people, or was it the same subject?”

Hasty said Carter targeted women over 40 who live alone. 

“Family members feared he would come back because on several occasions he told them if they told anybody, he would kill them,” Hasty said. 

Carter’s wife told CBS 17 he denied the new accusations against him when she spoke to him Thursday. She also apologized to the woman who shot her husband. 

A search warrant was obtained for a DNA sample from Carter while he was being treated at the hospital for the gunshot wound he received on May 24.

On May 25, investigators received Carter’s DNA sample and sent it to the NC SBI Crime Lab along with evidence collected at the other crime scenes for comparison and a possible match.

Police obtained priority testing for all the submitted evidence, as requested from the Elected District Attorney Valerie Asbell.

The results came back from the lab and connected Carter to the crimes reported around the Roanoke Rapids area.

Carter has been in custody under a $60,000 bond since the break-in in May.

The Halifax County Sheriff’s Office, the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, the North Carolina Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety’s Corrections P.E.R.T. assisted in the search for the suspect.

The case is still under investigation. Hasty said investigators are still waiting on additional results from the state crime lab.


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