Quick DNA Testing Leads Investigators To Tulsa Sexual Assault Suspect

Thursday, September 10th 2015, 7:21 pm
By: News On 6

Police say a DNA match is what led them to a suspect connected to a stranger rape case that happened in Tulsa last month.

The man was already in the Creek County jail on another case and investigators said had it not been for that, this case might have gone unsolved.

When a woman got raped on the Osage Trail in August, it was a real who-done-it.

8/14/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Police: Woman Sexually Assaulted On Osage Trail

There were no eyewitnesses or surveillance cameras and the victim couldn't give police a good description because the man threw something over her head during the assault.

They said that’s where the DNA came into play.

Police said the woman contacted them immediately and had a sexual assault exam which allowed them to get a DNA sample from the assault.

Within a few weeks of that exam, they had a match to Eugene Nunley; the next step was to find him, and fast, according to TPD Sergeant, Brian Carlisle.

"A lot of times it's a matter of go find this person. When's the last time they were arrested? What address did they give at that time? Did they move? Are they staying with family or friends? Are they homeless," he explained.

Detectives quickly discovered Nunley was sitting in the Creek County jail for failing to pay fines. He also had a recent shoplifting arrest, where he's accused of stealing knives and arrows from a Tulsa Walmart.

9/9/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Rape Suspect Sitting In Creek County Jail, Police Say

They got a warrant so he can be transferred to Tulsa's jail.

Nunley has been in and out of prison - mostly for theft, stolen cars and running from police - but nothing that would've put him on the radar for police in this case.

Carlisle said, "Nothing on his record would've had us looking at him for any sex-related offenses."

Detectives said this case shows how important it is for rape victims to immediately call the police and get an exam. They said in a case like this, everything becomes a crime scene, including the victim's entire body.

"If you have a crime scene in a bedroom, washing sheets degrades and destroys evidence and reduces our chance of getting anything useful from it," Carlisle said.

The sex crimes unit praised the Tulsa Police lab for getting the sample tested quickly. They said that’s what allowed them to solve the case.