Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said a man known as the “Ski-mask Rapist” was captured Tuesday in South Carolina after cases went unsolved for more than 30 years.
Jerry Lee Brooks, 62, was arrested in Surfside Beach, S.C. on Tuesday, police said.
The arrest came just a day after a grand jury handed down indictments and Charlotte’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Team began searching for him.
According to a CMPD release, the department’s Sexual Assault Cold Case Unit late last year connected a series of rape cases from 1979 that had gone unsolved because police had not been able to positively identify a suspect.
During the 2011 investigation, officials found DNA evidence in a series of the unsolved cases. That DNA was submitted to the crime laboratory for analysis, the statement read.
When the results came back, it showed that all of the cases were linked and identified the suspect as Brooks. With the new information, the Sexual Assault Unit started the process of finding victims in the 1979 cases, the statement read.
On Monday, the case was presented to a Mecklenburg County grand jury. The grand jury handed down 13 indictments against Brooks, according to CMPD.
On Tuesday, police found Brooks in Horry County. He was arrested and is currently being housed in the Horry County Jail pending extradition, police said.
According to the Surfside Police Department, Brooks was arrested in his rented beach condo at 2:30 p.m.
Surfside police said Brooks is not facing any local charges.
Brooks has been charged in three cases so far, police said.
He faces three counts of rape, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of crimes against nature, one count of burglary, two counts of breaking and entering, one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon and two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.
“He’s a violent offender. There are cases like we talked about that are very violent in nature. Just the sexual assaults in themselves are considered extremely violent,” said CMPD Major John Jennings.
Brooks should be headed back to Mecklenburg County sometime Wednesday or Thursday.
According to police records, Brooks was arrested in DWI in 1986. He also went to federal prison for bank robbery. He was released in 2005.