Investigators solve 21-year-old sexual assault case

by: Torie Wells Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Charlotte police said a woman was walking along Beech Nut Road in West Charlotte when two men snatched her, threw her in a car, took her to a strange place and raped her. For 21 years, no one knew who attacked her.

That is, until now, according to police.

"She was just astounded anyone remembered her case, let alone was working on it," said Detective Troy Armstrong, with the CMPD Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit.

The cold case unit reopened her case and Armstrong says the unit linked DNA from the case to 42-year-old Drayton Thompson.

He is charged with two counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sex offense, kidnapping and felony conspiracy.

When Eyewitness News looked into his past in Mecklenburg County, we found he was arrested in 2010 for allegedly trespassing and resisting a public officer and in 2011, for a probation violation.

Eyewitness News spoke with neighbors who said they are glad police solved this.

"You can't get away with anything, especially something like that," said Pam Woolcutt, who lives nearby the crime scene.

"They need to be punished to the highest," said Robert Bacote, who also lives near the crime scene.

But Armstrong said the work is not done yet. He said there was another man with Thompson committing the crimes in 1991. Officers are still looking for him.

"This is everyone's worst nightmare, to have a complete stranger grab them off the street," said Armstrong.

Armstrong said there are 6 to 10 other cases with similar characteristics. Police hope this arrest will help them solve some or all of those.

"We haven't stopped, this is something we are going to continue to do and I expect we will be able to fully solve these cases," said Armstrong.

Police said they know this was a long time ago, but if anyone recognizes Thompson and knows who he hung out with back in 1991, they want to hear from you.