This week The Genetic Detective looks at a present-day hot case for the first time. CeCe Moore and the cops of St. George (Utah) Police Department are on the hunt for Spencer Monnett after he raped Carla Brooks in her own home.
On April 17, 2018, police officers responded to calls of a burglary at the home of 79-year-old Carla. When they arrived, they learned that a sexual assault had also occurred.
Carla explained that while she had been asleep, a male had entered her home and had woken her by stroking her hair. He then put a cloth on her mouth and sexually assaulted her.
Investigators recovered the perpetrator’s DNA from the crime scene, but unfortunately, when they fed the info into state and national databases, the results came back with nothing.
Carla had already resigned herself to the fact that they might never catch the rapist. She worried that he might come back to her home once again. She also feared that he might strike somebody else.
However, a resourceful detective decided that if genetics can be used to solve a case from 30 years ago, then surely it could be used to “catch a rapist from three weeks ago.” Detective Wilson decided to reach out to genetic detective CeCe Moore.
At this time, it was Moore’s first active case. She described working on a hot case as being very different from a cold case. She said there was a stronger sense of urgency, a need to move quickly to stop the rapist as soon as possible.
Genetic DNA identified Spencer Monnett as rapist
Moore entered the rapist’s DNA onto the database of a commercial genealogy website, which allowed her to identify the family tree of the individual. The investigators were then able to narrow it down to Spencer Monnett.
Three months after the attack took place, Spencer Monnett was arrested and charged with rape, object rape, sexual battery, burglary, and assault.
In February 2019, a Utah judge ordered that Monnett spend a minimum of six years in prison; however, the Board of Pardons has the option to keep him behind bars for the rest of his life if they see fit.
Brooks has since become an activist campaigning for more action when it comes to resolving the backlog of rape cases across the nation. She also campaigns to battle against victim shaming. Her GoFundMe page has raised nearly $40,000 for the cause.
“I just had already made up my mind that they’ll never find him. But what worried me was that he would come back.” #GeneticDetective
Posted by ABC 20/20 on Tuesday, June 30, 2020
More from The Genetic Detective
Follow the links to read about more crimes solved by The Genetic Detective.
Robert Bashers broke into the home of mother and daughter, Sherri and Megan Scherer; he sexually assaulted Megan and shot them both dead. A few hours later, he tried to do the same to another mother and her daughter in the next county. The Genetic detective identified him 20 years later.
Darold Bowden spread fear for two years between 2006 and 2008 when he began abducting and raping multiple women in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Ramsey Street Rapist, as he became known, remained at large for ten years until the police finally came knocking at his door in 2018.
The Genetic Detective airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.