A man has been arrested in connection with a series of rapes that terrorized a South Carolina city for years more than a decade ago.
Gregory Howard Frye, 52, was taken into custody Tuesday following a monthslong investigation by detectives with the Spartanburg City Police Department and the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.
Frye is accused of sexually assaulting or attempting to assault a dozen girls and women between 1995 and 2003. The victims were all white females and ranged in age from 14 to 51, the sheriff's office said in a press release. One of the women was targeted twice by Frye, according to investigators.
Authorities said all of the crimes happened early in the morning at apartment complexes in Spartanburg or in the surrounding county, and each victim described a similar suspect.
In the initial investigation, "once the results of DNA analysis came back on the completed criminal sexual conduct cases, it confirmed all the incidents were committed by the same person," the sheriff's office wrote in the release.
Despite police interviewing numerous people they believed may have been a suspect and collecting the DNA samples, no arrest was made and the cases went cold.
About six months ago, investigators began to review the cases again, this time focusing on forensic evidence.
Detectives interviewed the victims again, identified family members of possible suspects, and collected new DNA samples which were then sent to the State Law Enforcement Division for analysis.
The sheriff's office was informed last week that Frye's DNA profile matched evidence collected from six of the victims who had been sexually assaulted.
Sheriff Chuck Wright said that "technology caught up with him," referring to Frye.
"Prayers have been answered. There's been a lot of people praying that we would catch a break, and we did," he said.
According to Wright, Frye was not believed to have been a suspect in the initial investigation. When asked if Frye had a criminal record, Wright said there was nothing "of this kind" and Frye did not "stick out on the radar."
"This is a great day to know that we got at least one person that's going to be held accountable for a reign of terror that he's caused for these victims," he said.
Frye was charged with burglary, kidnapping, and criminal sexual conduct. Police said there could be additional victims, and more charges are expected to be filed. Frye will be arraigned on the charges at a later date.