Myrtle Beach man arrested in connection with rape case 34 years - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Myrtle Beach man arrested in connection with rape case 34 years later

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J. Reuben Long Detention Center J. Reuben Long Detention Center

Cold cases don't just exist for murder.  In Charlotte detectives have been investigating a sexual assault case for nearly 34 years and now they have made an arrest of a Myrtle Beach man.

Timothy Benfield, 52,was taken into custody March 27, after DNA linked him to an assault of a woman in her north Charlotte apartment in July 1980.

Sgt. Darrell Price said the woman was sleeping when the attack happened around 4 in the morning. The victim awoke to someone with a knife standing in her bedroom. She was tied to the bed and sexually assaulted.

No leads ever panned out and the case sat unsolved. Then police said DNA testing indicated Benfield as the suspect.

Back in 2008, Myrtle Beach police responded to a report of a car break-in that had a broken window. There was blood on the window that was collected and sent to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and Benfield came up as a match.  Agents said the DNA was a match to samples taken from the 1980 rape case.

SLED agents took Benfield into custody in Myrtle Beach where he'd been living.  He waived extradition and returned to Charlotte to face charges including rape, robbery and kidnapping.

This is just one of more than 150 cases the cold case unit has solved since it began reviewing more than 2,200 unsolved rape cases in the department's files.

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