DNA evidence helps solve 2007 sexual battery case in Tampa, police say

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Police in Tampa say DNA evidence has helped them solve a sexual battery case about 14 years after the crime.

Police said a woman was sexually assaulted after she befriended a man who had walked her home one evening in 2007.

Police hit dead ends in 2007, but decided to re-examine the case with new technology in March 2020.

With the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, police conducted DNA testing on samples found at the crime scene, which helped them identify a suspect, a man living in Virginia.

“We took the leads from what we got of the DNA, the detectives worked the case like it was a brand new case and we were able to develop a suspect in this case,” said Assistant Chief Ruben Delgado.

Police obtained a search warrant to acquire samples of the suspect’s DNA, which came back as a match.

The man, identified as 44-year-old Jared Vaughn turned himself into the Orient Road Jail last week and was charged with sexual battery.

Police announced his arrest at a 10 a.m. press conference Tuesday.

TPD Assistant Chief Ruben Delgado said having this new tool will allow them to solve old cases.

“We are constantly looking for new technologies, new investigative was to revisit these old cases to bring closure to the victims,” added Assistant Chief Delgado.

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