CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - A man, connected to a sexual assault in South Carolina, has been charged with breaking into the homes of two women and Charlotte and sexually assaulting them back in 2016.
Police say they were called to the 2700 block of Clemoson Avenue on January 8, 2016 to a report of a sexual assault. The victim told police that a man broke into her apartment and forcibly raped her at gunpoint. The suspect then took cash from the residence and fled on foot.
Months later on August 7, 2016, police say they were called to the 8300 block of Runaway Bay Drive, where a woman told officers that an unknown male had broken into her apartment and forcibly raped her. The suspect then fled the scene on foot.
DNA from both of the scenes was collected and processed at the times of these incidents.
During the investigations, detectives received information that the DNA collected matched an unsolved burglary case from Midland, Texas, however no suspect had been identified as matching the DNA. CMPD Sexual Assault Detectives then began working with Midland, Texas to develop a suspect in these cases. Further information cultivated during the investigation led them in identifying Lawrence Elam as a person of interest, however at the time they were unable to locate Elam to collect a DNA sample.
On April 28, 2017, officers in Blufton, South Carolina arrested Elam for a sexual assault and burglary case in their jurisdiction. DNA evidence was collected from Elam and was confirmed to match both sexual assault cases in Charlotte, as well as the burglary in Midland, Texas. After receiving this confirmation, detectives signed a total of sixteen warrants on Elam:
Clemson Avenue – A total of 13 warrants were secured for five counts of First Degree Rape, four counts of First Degree Sex Offense, Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, First Degree Breaking and Entering, First Degree Kidnapping and Assault with a Deadly Weapon.
Runaway Bay Drive – a total of 3 warrants were secured. The warrants were for Second Degree Rape, First Degree Kidnapping and First Degree Breaking and Entering.
Elam is currently in custody in Blufton, SC. There is no timetable on his return to Mecklenburg County.
Detectives are asking anyone with additional information concerning this case to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. To learn more about the Crime Stoppers mobile app, please visit http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.