Police Say They Used Items Found In Suspect’s Garbage To Match Accused Serial Rapist’s DNA
CLEARFIELD, Utah – Police on Thursday provided more information on the arrest of an accused serial rapist.
Authorities said they are confident they have caught a man responsible for multiple sexual assaults spanning a decade.
Prosecutors charged Mark Douglas Burns, 69, in connection to at least nine alleged rapes in Utah and Wyoming in the 1990s and early 2000s. Investigators called the assaults “incomprehensible, brutal and methodical.”
Detectives were able to track him down after working with a genetic genealogist and creating a DNA profile. The profile eventually led them to the suspect’s half-brother, which then led them to Burns’ home in Ogden.
“This case is just beginning now for us,” Chief Bennett says. Adds that since Burns was a trucker, they believe there are other victims out there, and urges other agencies to check their cold cases. He does not believe Burns stopped in 2000, where the trail currently ends.
— Mike Anderson (@mikeandersonKSL) September 26, 2019
“We began conducting surveillance of the home, and we were able to find items in his garbage,” said Clearfield City Police Chief Kelly Bennett. “Using the technology, as well as the Wyoming crime lab, we were able to identify that, in fact, Mr. Burns was our suspect with a DNA match.”
According to court documents, Burns was convicted of rape in North Carolina in 1974 and served a prison sentence there before moving to Utah.
Police said Burns was a trucker, and they believe they are other victims. They’ve asked other police agencies to check their cold cases, and they’re encouraging any victims to come forward.
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