Smyrna police have arrested a man in connection with a 25-year-old armed robbery and sexual assault case.
A detective from the department’s Crimes Against Women and Children Unit matched DNA evidence obtained from a February 1994 rape and kidnapping case to Smyrna resident Walter Waitus Bullard, said spokesman Sgt. Louis Defense.
According to Bullard’s arrest warrant, he entered the B&H Cleaners on Herodian Way the night of Feb. 23, 1994, produced a firearm and demanded the employee give him money from the register.
He then forced the woman into a back room, where he raped her at gunpoint, his warrant alleges.
A rape kit submitted by Smyrna Police last May matched a sample the GBI had in its database, Defense said.
In 2016, the Legislature passed a bill requiring Georgia law enforcement agencies to send stored rape kits to GBI headquarters for testing.
The legislation, which received bipartisan support, was spurred in part by an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation that revealed more than 1,400 kits went untested at Grady Memorial Hospital even though victims wanted them transferred to law enforcement.
“As we revisited the case trying to see if there were any new leads, we realized we preserved some evidence and we submitted that,” Defense said of the cold case evidence. “We never stop trying to close a case and bring justice to our victims ... and today’s technology allowed us to do that.”
Bullard, who was already in custody on a probation violation charge, now faces one count each of rape, armed robbery, kidnapping and aggravated sodomy, jail records show.
He has been held without bond at the Cobb County jail since Feb. 1.
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