EAGAR — David Louis Slade, 58, of Eagar, was arrested Jan. 2 for alleged sexual assaults committed in 2003 just outside Flagstaff and in 2004 in Cedar City, Utah.
He is at this time in the Coconino County Jail in Flagstaff charged with kidnapping, burglary and sexual assault.
Coconino County Sheriff’s Office detectives, using DNA, said they have identified Slade as their suspect in both cases.
“In April 2003 the 18-year-old victim (in Coconino County, Arizona) had reported an unknown male suspect entered her home at night and held her against her will and sexually assaulted her. The victim had identified and directed detectives to semen left by the suspect. A DNA profile was obtained from the semen, but the suspect was never identified,” a press release from CCSO Stg. Jason Lurkins stated.
“In July 2004, a young adult female reported being the victim of a sexual assault at her apartment in Cedar City, Utah. An unknown male suspect had entered her home at night and sexually assaulted her. Cedar City Police were able to collect biological evidence that was later analyzed and a DNA profile obtained. The DNA profile from both the Coconino County case and the Cedar City case were submitted independently to a database. The database found that the DNA profile from both cases were from the same suspect, but that suspect was unidentified. The cases had remained unsolved,” Lurkins stated.
From 2004 until 2019, detectives in Arizona and Utah continued to try and identify the suspect in both cases until they got the break they needed.
In March of last year CCSO detectives re-submitted the suspect DNA to the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s Crime Lab requesting a re-examination of it to come up with a profile of the unidentified sexual assault suspect by performing a familial DNA search on blind samples taken from arrested persons that are in the state’s database of DNA samples.
“Through this search, DPS analysts were able to identify two potential relatives of the unidentified suspect. Analysts were able to determine the suspect was related to the two familial samples on the family’s (Slade’s) paternal side,” Lurkins said in the press release.
He said that after it was established that Slade was a viable suspect, CCSO detectives, along with assistance from the Apache County Sheriff’s Office, obtained a DNA sample from Slade on Friday Dec. 27 that was delivered to the DPS Crime Lab late that afternoon.
Slade’s DNA sample was analyzed on Monday Dec. 30, 2019 and according to CCSO detectives, it matched that of the suspect DNA from the April 2003 sexual assault outside Flagstaff.
So on Thursday Jan. 2 CCSO detectives, accompanied by members of the Apache County Sheriff’s Office and officers with the Springerville and Eagar police departments arrested Slade. who is now in the custody of the CCSO in Flagstaff after having an initial appearance before a judge in Apache County where he was released to the custody of the CCSO.
“The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Arizona Department of Public Safety Crime Laboratory for their expertise and expediency in analyzing the biological evidence, and the Apache County Sheriff’s Office, Springerville Police Department, and Eagar Police Departments for their assistance in the location and arrest of Slade,” Lurkins said.