Summerville man arrested in 1999 rape and attempted murder cold case out of New Jersey

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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – A Summerville man has been arrested and charged in connection to a cold case out of Somerdale, New Jersey dating back to 1999.

Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer and Somerdale Police Chief James Walsh announced on Friday the arrest of Sanyika L. Adams, 47, of Summerville for his role in a rape and attempted murder case.

Authorities responded to a New Jersey home on April 15, 1999, after a woman said she woke up to a man holding a knife to her throat.

Police said she realized her phone lines has been cut and ran to a neighbor’s home for help once the man left.

According to information from the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, when police searched the home, they located a second victim who had been tied up, raped, and stabbed multiple times.

Detectives collected DNA from the victim; however, a potential match wasn’t located until October of 2019 when the combined DNA Index System, known as CODIS, resulted in a hit on Adams.

Through an investigation and meeting with the victims, detective were able to locate Adams in South Carolina where they traveled to interview the suspect and collect more recent DNA sample for analysis.

A New Jersey State Police lab was able to confirm in November of this year that Adams was the source of the male DNA that was collected from the victim at the time of the rape.

“This arrest, 21 years after the crime, is the result of DNA evidence and multiagency cooperation. We hope this shows all victims that no matter how much time passes, we will not give up,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “This case should serve as a source of hope for others who are victims or know a victim of a cold case. It might take some time, but we will never stop working for justice on these cases.”

Adams was taken into custody Friday in South Carolina and is awaiting extradition to New Jersey.

He is charged with one count of first-degree attempted murder, two counts of first-degree kidnapping, four counts of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, two counts of first-degree robbery, one count of second-degree aggravated assault, one count of second-degree burglary, two counts of third-degree criminal restraint, one count of third-degree aggravated assault, one count of third-degree terroristic threats, one count of third-degree endangering an injured victim, two counts of third-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and one count of fourth-degree possession of a weapon.

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