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Source: Unsplash; McDonough police

Mar. 25 2021, Updated 11:09 a.m. ET

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 DNA evidence has led to the arrest of a suspect accused of sexually assaulting a 75-year-old woman inside her apartment at a senior living complex in Georgia, police said.

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Travale Lamar Farris, 29, was arrested on March 23, after police obtained and executed several search and arrest warrants.

“We spared no time and we lost a lot of sleep, but we got what we believe to be the person in custody that is responsible for this,” Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett said at a news conference posted on social media. 

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On Feb. 5, the elderly woman was attacked at the McDonough Senior Living Complex. Surveillance footage appeared to show the suspect roaming the complex and going door-to-door checking for unlocked apartments, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Police said after the assault, Farris, who lived less than a mile away from the senior community, allegedly casually walked out of the victim’s apartment. 

One day before the arrest, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Division of Forensic Science notified police that genetic evidence collected at the crime scene was a match with Farris, McDonough Police Department Maj. Kyle Helgerson said.

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DNA samples are collected from most inmates admitted into the Georgia prison system and sent to the FBI to be added to a national database. 

Farris was incarcerated for over one year at the Muscogee County Prison on burglary and theft charges and released at the end of 2018, according to the Journal-Constitution.

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Police charged Farris with rape, aggravated assault, sexual battery, burglary and false imprisonment, online records show.

He is being held without bond at the Henry County Detention Center. 

“It’s weighed heavy on our minds, obviously, since this incident occurred. We’ve done everything we can,” Helgerson said of catching Farris. “There’s been a lot of manpower involved in this effort.”


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