Suspects in rape, kidnap of Johnson County deputy make first appearance
Authorities are investigating a link between the men charged with raping a Johnson County deputy and an unsolved Independence rape reported in February.
In both cases, samples of DNA evidence were obtained and submitted to a national DNA database for comparison.
Sources have told The Star that DNA from the Independence case — in which intruders broke into a woman’s home and assaulted her in bed with her toddler daughter by her side — matched one of the samples obtained in the Johnson County case.
Charges have not been filed in the Independence attack.
After charges were filed Monday in the Johnson County case, District Attorney Steve Howe said authorities had “good information” that there may be other victims.
“I can’t talk about why we believe this, but I will tell you that we feel like now hopefully with these two being in custody that we can empower those individuals to come forward and talk to law enforcement about what happened to them,” Howe said.
The female Johnson County deputy sheriff was kidnapped late last Friday from outside the detention center parking lot where she worked in Olathe.
She was sexually assaulted in a vehicle before being let go in Jackson County.
Investigators said that tips from the public led them to the suspects after officials released surveillance camera images of the car driven by the suspects.
William Luth, 24, of Blue Springs, and Brady Newman-Caddell, 21, of Independence, are now charged in Johnson County District Court with aggravated kidnapping, rape and aggravated sodomy in connection with the attack on the deputy.
The Independence attack occurred early on the morning of Feb. 9 at an apartment complex in the 17000 block of East U.S. 24.
One of the men now charged in Johnson County lived in the same building as the Independence woman, sources said.
The 30-year-old victim told police that she was assaulted by multiple men. A pair of pajama pants was tied around the victim’s face to prevent her from seeing her attackers.
A sweatshirt was tied around the Johnson County victim’s head during her assault, investigators said.
During the attack on the Independence woman, the suspects mentioned that it was the birthday for one of them.
According to jail records, Luth’s birthday is Feb. 8.
During the Independence investigation in February, a DNA sample for an unknown male was recovered from the scene assault and entered into a national DNA database, according to police reports obtained by The Star.
As of Aug. 31, a police report indicated that no matches to that sample had been found, and since all leads had been exhausted, the case was being closed.
“If additional information becomes available, the case will be re-opened at that time,” according to the police report.
On Thursday, Independence police said that they could not comment except to say that the investigation into the reported rape is ongoing.
Johnson County authorities said Monday that they had obtained DNA samples from two unknown males after the attack on the deputy.
Those DNA samples were submitted to the same national database.
The database contains the known DNA of previously prosecuted felons or people who have been arrested. It also contains samples obtained from crime scenes.
The system uses computer software to detect matches. When a match is made with samples from two laboratories, the labs verify the match.
Typically, those preliminary matches can be used as probable cause to get a search warrant to obtain a sample from a suspect that can undergo additional analysis and be used as evidence in court.