Warrant reveals more details about man arrested for 3 cold-case rapes dating back to 1996

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – New warrants obtained this week revealed more details about a man who was arrested in Durham for three cold-case rapes.

Michael Anthony McNeal was one of 11 suspects in cold case sexual assaults arrested, according to a Durham police announcement in October. He was linked to cases from 1996, 1998, and 2003.

On Sept. 14, 1996, McNeal was accused of raping a woman at knifepoint on the train tracks along the 500 block of East Main Street. McNeal was also accused of following a woman and then raping her behind a business near the intersection of Main and Fayetteville streets, according to a warrant obtained by CBS 17 on Tuesday.

Then, in May 2002, McNeal was charged in connection with a homicide in Durham. His DNA was obtained during that investigation and submitted to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation lab, the warrant said.

On June 21, 1003, Durham officers responded to a sexual assault report along the 100 block of Commerce Street. The victim was McNeal’s wife, Anna, who said her husband assaulted her the night before. She told police McNeal was outside talking to someone when she said she was going to bed and accidentally locked him out.

McNeal became angry and kicked the door in, then began assaulting his wife, the warrant said.

Anna McNeal said she was unable to escape. She said her husband ripped her clothes off and forced her to have sex, the warrant said.

Michael Anthony McNeal was arrested for assaulting his wife, but the charges were later dismissed.

DNA from McNeal matched all three cases and he was arrested on Sept. 14, 2020.

The warrant said all three victims have since died.

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