Updated: February 14, 2020 06:30 PM
Created: February 14, 2020 10:59 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Sex Crimes detectives with the Albuquerque Police Department have used DNA evidence from the rape kit backlog to identify an offender tied to two rape cases from over a decade ago.
“As we eliminate the backlog, we are starting to see the results during follow-up investigations,” Sergeant Amanda Wild said. “Our Sex Crimes detectives and victim advocates are working hard to solve crimes and bring closure for survivors.”
Van Riley Overton Jr. was arrested Sunday and extradited to California to face charges for a 2004 rape case in Mountain View. He will face charges for a 1997 rape case in Albuquerque at a later date.
Both victims had completed rape kits but the DNA had not matched a known profile until now. APD worked with Mountain View detectives to identify Overton Jr., who had moved to Mountain View in 2002 and moved back to Albuquerque in 2006.
On Feb. 7, APD interviewed Overton and obtained buccal swabs. His swabs matched DNA recovered from both cases. A warrant was issued and he was arrested two days later.
In 2018, Mayor Tim Keller signed an executive order calling on APD to clear the rape kit backlog. The city is on track to clear the rest of the rape kit backlog soon – there are 27 kits remaining.
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