A soldier stationed at Fort Eustis in Virginia was arrested on Nov. 6 in connection with a rape case from 2009, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.
Spc. Timothy Damon Epps, 26, recently provided his DNA during a criminal investigation being conducted by the military, and when his DNA was placed into the national Combined DNA Index System database, it matched samples taken from a rape case from June 2009, according to the MCSO Facebook page.
On June 30, 2009, a 67-year-old woman reported that an unknown black man knocked on her door and falsely identified himself as a law enforcement officer, according to the sheriff’s office. When the woman opened the door, the suspect forced himself inside, threatened her with a gun and dragged her into the bedroom where he tied her up and raped her. Before leaving, the suspect stole $50 from the victim.
His DNA was collected from the sexual assault kit after the woman reported the incident, but it didn’t match any DNA in the CODIS database at the time. Authorities then stored the DNA in the system in case it matched future samples.
Last month, on Oct. 25, a detective with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office received a match on a new sample that was entered into the system, positively identifying Epps as the suspect from eight years earlier. The detective found that Epps lived less than two miles from the victim when the incident occurred, and a photo of Epps from 2009 found his features were similar to what the woman had described.
The detective went to Joint Base Langley-Eustis on Nov. 6 to interview Epps, but the specialist requested an attorney. Epps was arrested by the Newport News Police Department on the MCSO warrant for sexual battery with a deadly weapon, burglary with battery, and impersonating a police officer.
Epps is being held in the Marion County Jail, according to the sheriff’s office.
Detectives believe it’s highly likely that Epps — who has also lived in Florida, Missouri and Kentucky — might have committed similar crimes in other areas. Anyone with information on other crimes Epps might have been involved in is urged to contact Detective Daniel Pinder at 352-368-3508.
Epps joinied the Army in October 2009, four months after the crime occurred, and is a motor transport operator with the 7th Transportation Brigade, according to Fort Eustis.