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DA: Person searching family history leads them to arrest in cold case rape

By Nancy Laflin

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    ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) — On Tuesday, Albuquerque police charged 62-year-old Edward Duran with burglary and rape from 1997.

Investigators say they believe Duran may be a serial rapist, breaking into homes and sexually assaulting eight women he did not know throughout Albuquerque in the 1990s.

They believe the crimes happened while he was out on probation for other rape cases.

District Attorney Raul Torrez says Duran was convicted of rape in 1979, then again in 1991. In both cases, he served just six months behind bars.

When 1997 rolled around, they believe Duran broke into another woman’s home and raped her too.

“She was startled by a man that had broken into the apartment and was holding a knife to her, then moved her to the bathroom and forced her to take a shower,” Torrez said.

Investigators say women in eight cases preserved evidence from the crime scenes, including DNA from their attacker.

Their rape kits sat on shelves until the city and state recently began clearing the rape kit backlog.

Investigators say they got a break in the cases when a distant relative of Duran’s began searching their family tree.

That DNA lead them to Duran.

He is now charged with the 1997 rape case, and the other cases are under investigation. Torrez said Duran denied any involvement when investigators questioned him.

This is not the first time investigators used genetic testing to solve a crime.

Just last year, Angel Gurule was convicted of raping a jogger along the Bosque after a distant relative used a commercial genealogy website.

“For those victims without resolution, we’re not going to stop looking for these attackers, your attackers,” said APD Deputy Commander Kyle Hartsock.

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