SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — On Wednesday, the City of San Marcos said an October 2004 sexual assault cold case was solved due to advanced DNA technology, the agency said in a news release on its website.
On Oct. 9, 2004, the San Marcos Police Department received a call about a man who entered a woman’s home and sexually assaulted her in her bedroom, according to the release. When officers arrived on the scene, the suspect ran away and was no longer in the home. The victim told police she wasn’t able to see the man’s face, as he had it covered with a shirt or a mask, the release said.
The victim was taken to a hospital in Seguin, where a Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) was done and evidence was gathered, which also included a DNA sample from the suspect. There weren’t many leads for detectives to identify a suspect, officials said. The DNA was then entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) with the hope of a match being found, the release said.
Years later, investigators followed up with the victim, who said she was still interested in prosecuting the suspect, according to officials. Additional DNA testing was conducted with the Texas Department of Public Safety Laboratory, which is more advanced than what was tested in 2004.
DPS found a possible lead in March 2023 connected to Ricardo Cruz Rodriguez, 44, the release said. Rodriguez grew up in San Marcos, but investigators learned he was living in Tampa, Florida.
Officials were able to obtain a DNA sample from Rodriguez. The DPS lab report found that the sample from the SAFE in 2004 matched the sample taken from Rodriguez, the release said.
SMPD coordinated Rodriguez’s arrest Monday in Florida, with help from the Hays County District Attorney’s Office and the Hays County Sheriff’s Office, the release said. He was charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault and taken to the Orient Road Jail in Tampa. Rodriguez is currently awaiting extradition to Texas, officials said.