FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Grand Chute Police explain how they made an arrest in 21-year-old sexual assault & kidnapping cold case

Local News

GRAND CHUTE, Wis. (WFRV) – Police have been searching for a match to DNA from the sexual assault and kidnapping of a then 16-year-old Wisconsin girl in 2000 for over two decades and they finally made an arrest.

John Carter, 51 of Wisconsin Rapids, was arrested last week in connection with the case.

Chief Greg Peterson, Grand Chute Police said, “A young lady, 16-years-old, was leaving her place of employment at the Fox River Mall and while leaving the mall she was confronted by someone she had casual contact with while working in a store in the mall. He abducted her and did so with a weapon. He drove her to an isolated, remote area, and he sexually assaulted her. And then fled the scene.”

This wasn’t the first crime Carter was wanted for, DNA tied him to another open case from 1999.

“It was in Janesville and at that time DNA was collected at that crime scene in Janesville and it was also submitted for analysis,” said Peterson. “That DNA from the Janesville crime and the DNA from our crime matched. So we knew with confidence that the same person had committed both crimes but we didn’t know who that person was.”

Police finally made progress when a new investigator was assigned to the case in 2019, leading to the arrest after the department got a DNA match.

Melinda Tempelis, the Outagamie County District Attorney, said, “He had also left DNA on her. That DNA was collected through an exam at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, swabs of that were submitted to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab.”

Outagamie County Court Commissioner Brian Figy set a $1 million cash bail bond because he said Carter should be considered a flight risk and a danger to the public.

Carter’s next court appearance is on May 6th.

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