South Carolina serial rapist arrested after more than 20 years on the loose, police say

PHOTO: Police arrested suspected rapist Gregory Howard in South Carolina, April 3, 2019.PlaySpartanburg Police Department via Facebook
WATCH Alleged serial rapist arrested in South Carolina

Police arrested a South Carolina man on Tuesday who allegedly raped a dozen women and spent more than two decades on the loose.

Investigators said DNA evidence led to the arrest of 52-year-old Gregory Frye, who allegedly raped 12 women throughout Spartanburg County, South Carolina, which is about 90 miles north of Columbia.

The attacks occurred between 1995 and 2003 and investigators said the suspect targeted one of the women twice, according to the Spartanburg Police Department. The victims, described as white women between the ages of 14 and 51, were attacked in various apartment complexes in Spartanburg County, according to police.

PHOTO: Police arrested suspected rapist Gregory Howard in South Carolina, April 3, 2019. Spartanburg Police Department via Facebook
Police arrested suspected rapist Gregory Howard in South Carolina, April 3, 2019.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said Frye had been living and working in the area over the years and "going about his business like nothing happened." He said there could be more victims.

"I can't imagine how some of the victims must have felt knowing that it took this long," Wright said at a press conference Tuesday. "Prayers have been answered, I just want you to know that. There's been a lot of people praying that we'd catch a break and we did. And not only did we catch a break, we ran with it."

Officers said they zeroed in on the suspect last week while reviewing several cold cases.

The sheriff's office and the Spartanburg City Police Department said investigators tried to approach the cases from a different perspective, focusing on new technologies and forensic evidence.

PHOTO: Officials with the Spartanburg Police Department announced the arrest of a suspected serial rapist at a press conference on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Spartanburg Police Department via Facebook
Officials with the Spartanburg Police Department announced the arrest of a suspected serial rapist at a press conference on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.
PHOTO: The Spartanburg Police Department released a detailed timeline of events in the case against suspected serial rapist Gregory Howard on Wednesday, April 3, 2019. Spartanburg Police Department via Facebook
The Spartanburg Police Department released a detailed timeline of events in the case against suspected serial rapist Gregory Howard on Wednesday, April 3, 2019.

"Investigators from both agencies worked tirelessly reviewing all of the old cases, re-interviewing victims, identifying potential family members of possible suspects, collecting new DNA samples, and sending that evidence to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for analysis," the department said in a statement. "We received notification from SLED last week that through their analysis, a suspect with a matching DNA profile had been identified."

Frye was arrested on Tuesday on charges of burglary, kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct. Police said additional charges are pending.

The suspect was being held at the Spartanburg County Detention Center without bail as of late Wednesday. It's unclear if he has obtained an attorney.

"This is just a great day to know we got at least one person that is going to be held accountable for a reign of terror that he's caused for these victims," Sheriff Chuck Wright said. "These victims are stronger than that and they are really inspirational."