ORLANDO, Fla. — Evidence that was collected from the victim of a brutal attack 27 years ago just solved the crime.
Orlando police said a 22-year-old woman was beaten and raped at the Parliament House in 1991.
DNA from the suspect who was arrested matched DNA taken from the woman nearly three decades ago.
When someone survives being attacked and raped, it can be even more traumatizing to them go through a sexual assault exam at a hospital.
"It is very invasive. The more people that are involved in that process, police included, the more stress and pressure it can put on a victim," said Sgt. Charles Crosby, of the Orlando Police Department Special Victims Unit.
But it provides incredibly important evidence that lives in a nationwide database forever.
Sometimes DNA can be matched to a suspect immediately and sometimes it can take decades.
"We recognize that it's extremely, extremely personal, and we want to do everything we can to provide any amount of relief to the victims of these crimes," Crosby said.
Crosby recently provided that relief to a 50-year-old woman who was beaten and raped repeatedly inside the Parliament House in 1991.
The results have been sitting in the national database since then.
Last year, the Orlando Police Department received a notification that the system had a match to Kevin Owens.
Owens' DNA was put into the system when he was arrested for another crime.
Investigators called the woman with the news and she is moving forward with charges against Owens
Police said the story it should bring hope to all victims still waiting for justice.
"We will follow every piece of evidence when it is available, as far as we can follow it, and when we can charge a suspect, we'll charge them, even if that evidence comes in 27 years later," Crosby said.
The Orlando Police Department said that if someone is raped and isn't ready to move forward with a criminal investigation at the time, they can still have a sexual assault exam done to preserve the evidence.
If, later in life, they decide to pursue charges, the DNA will be on file.
Cox Media Group