DNA match leads to conviction in kidnapping, rape case from 1999
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - A California man was convicted for kidnapping and raping a Logansport woman 22 years ago after a three-day trial ended last Thursday.
The Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s office says Rodriguez Samandes Todd, 53, from La Mesa California, was a suspect in the 1999 crime after Todd’s DNA profile showed as a match with the suspect in the Combined DNA Index System a national database in 2019.
When police found Todd in California and questioned him, Todd told officers he lived in Kentucky and Tennessee before moving to South Bend in 1999. The prosecutor’s office says Todd admitted to having “one-night stands” in cars or in the woods or in a secluded place.
The prosecutor’s office says the victim testified in court that on November 23, 1999, she was on her way from Logansport to Ligonier to visit her father who was gravely ill, and stopped at a gas station in Warsaw to check her transmission fluid. They say a man walked up to her with a knife and told her “Let’s take a ride”.
The office says the victim told the jury that the man forced her into her car and took her to a wooded area where he raped her twice, then left. The victim’s husband took her to the Logansport Memorial Hospital Emergency Room where a sexual assault treatment kit was collected and photographs were taken.
The prosecutor’s office says investigators found that during the time period of the crime, Todd was employed by the St. Joseph County probation department.
Todd’s case went to trial last week in Kosciusko County, where the jury found Todd guilty of rape and kidnapping, the prosecutor’s office said.
Todd is in the Kosciusko County jail until his sentencing on October 18, 2022. Todd could be sentenced to 20-100 years and a fine of up to $20,000.
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