Cold Case Sexual Assault is Solved 9 Years Later
Friday, December 28, 2012, 12:30 PM [RELEASE AT WILL]
On Friday 08/08/2003 the Colorado Springs Police Department received a report of a sexual assault. The investigation revealed a fourteen year old female was forced to have sex with a 21 year old suspect who was unknown to investigators at the time. The suspect was an acquaintance only and she was only able to provide his first name and some physical descriptors. At the time of the assault, the victim submitted to a sexual assault forensic exam and evidence was collected. The Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) kit was sent to CBI for analysis 08/14/2003 by the Sex Assault Unit. The results of the CBI test were later received and it indicated evidence was found that could be compared against a suspect if one was identified. The case went cold as there was no suspect identified.
In 2010 the case was reviewed by a CSPD cold case investigator. The investigator was able to develop a suspect based on a crime analyst finding a person in the arrest data base that matched the description given by the victim at the time. A photo line-up was completed and the victim picked the suspect out of the line-up. Investigators learned the suspect was in California. CSPD investigators worked with detectives in California and ultimately obtained a search warrant that required the suspect to submit to a sexual assault exam to include the collection of his DNA. Once investigators received the swabs, they submitted them to CBI to compare against the unidentified DNA found in the victim’s SANE kit.
After the analysis, CSPD was advised by CBI that the DNA profile indicated a mixture of DNA from at least two individuals, at least one of which is male. The report indicated the suspect cannot be eliminated as a contributor to that mixture. The report further indicated the suspect cannot be eliminated as a contributor to that mixture.
The suspect was identified as 31 year old California resident Derek Malito. A warrant has been issued for his arrest on the charge of Sexual Assault on a Child.
Some of the work done that resulted in this arrest was funded by a federal grant. The Colorado Springs Police Department applied for and received federal funding to re-examine unsolved “cold” sexual assault and homicide cases. The $464,724 grant was awarded in 2009 from the National Institute of Justice under a program called “Solving Cold Cases with DNA.” The focus of re-examining cases under this grant has been identifying any biological evidence that could have DNA testing done to find a possible match with known offender DNA in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) database.