Thursday, July 12, 2012

Arrest made in Cold Case Rape Cases from 1979

In December of 2011, the Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit became aware of a series of rape cases from 1979 that were similar in nature.  Investigators in 1979 had referred to the cases as being the "Ski-mask Rapist Cases." Although investigators in 1979 investigated the cases extensively, they were unable to develop a suspect.

During the course of the present investigation it was determined that there was DNA evidence available in several of the unsolved cases from 1979. They were submitted to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Crime Laboratory for DNA analysis.

The analysis revealed that the cases were all linked and all shared a CODIS Hit identifying the suspect as Jerry Lee Brooks.  The Sexual Assault Unit then began attempting to locate all of the victims and other persons that would be relevant to prosecuting the cases.  The case was presented to a Mecklenburg County Grand Jury on June 25, 2012, and in all, 13 indictments were handed down against Mr. Brooks.

CMPD's Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT) Unit began searching for Mr. Brooks and he was subsequently located in Surfside Beach, SC, where he was arrested earlier today. He is being held at the Horry County Jail pending extradition. Mr. Brooks has been charged in three of the cases, with the appropriate charges that would have been relevant during 1979 and they are as follows: Rape (3 counts), Crime Against Nature (2 counts), Burglary (1 count), Breaking and Entering (2 counts), Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon (1 count), Attempted Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon (2 counts) and Kidnapping (2 counts).

The Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit would like to thank the following units for their assistance in locating and arresting Jerry Lee Brooks:  The CMPD Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (VCAT), NC State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), and Surfside Beach Police Department.