CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Cold Case Unit arrested a man in Concord accused of sexually assaulting a woman on June 17, 1994.
James Wayne Ingersoll, 50, is accused of breaking into the home of a then 39-year-old woman on North Cloudman Street in west Charlotte at 1:30 a.m. that night and sexually assaulting her at knifepoint.
A sexual assault kit was conducted, and more evidence was taken in 2018 and 2019. The forensic samples from that scene matched another sex assault case in 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina.
Detectives used genetic genealogy and got a DNA sample from Ingersoll. That sample connected the suspect to both cases.
Ingersoll was arrested Thursday in Concord. Channel 9′s Hunter Sáenz spoke to a detective whose work helped make that arrest.
“It feels good,” Sgt. Darrell Price told Sáenz.
Price has been on the CMPD Cold Case Unit for 13 years. He’s been on the force for 42 years and is six weeks from retirement.
According to Price, the victim was also a mother who left her door unlocked that night to let her kids in when they came home. She was in bed at the time of the assault.
Price explained how the forensic genealogy that led to Ingersoll’s arrest works.
“They can give you probabilities, whether this subject may be a first cousin, or second cousin, or whatever of the person they’re giving you the name of, so then it’s your job figure out if they’re your suspect,” he said.
Price said it’s the third time this new type of genealogy testing has led to an arrest in a CMPD sex assault cold case. He said the department likely has more than 3,000 sex assault cold cases it’s still investigating, and he thinks this new tool can help make arrests in those as well.
Price said the arrest likely didn’t come as a surprise to Ingersoll.
“I think he was aware that we were looking for him by the time we had caught him,” Price said. “He had been tipped off by some folks who had seen our surveillance teams.”
Price said he’s proud to have helped close likely one of his last cases.
Ingersoll was charged with first-degree rape and first-degree burglary.
The Columbia Police Department also has an active arrest warrant out for Ingersoll, who will be charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. Ingersoll allegedly kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 25-year-old woman on March 13, 2010, according to the Columbia Police Department. DNA from that case was entered into the Combined DNA Index System.
The victims have been told of the arrest.
Ingersoll is in the Mecklenburg County jail under a $500,000 bond.
Court records show he pleaded guilty to assault on a female in 1999. He was also investigated in 1995 for peeping, but that case was dismissed.
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