A 34-year-old man arrested this week on suspicion of multiple rapes in Louisiana may be tied to a string of sexual assaults in Kansas City that had been unsolved for years.
Daniel A. Meridy, of New Orleans, was booked into jail Monday night on four counts of first-degree rape and four counts of aggravated kidnapping.
A spokesman for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday that formal charges will be determined after the case is presented to a grand jury.
The next grand jury is scheduled to meet next month. Meridy is being held in custody after a judge set his bond at $1.6 million.
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In all of the incidents, described as “stranger” sexual assaults, detectives with the New Orleans Police Department learned the suspect pulled a handgun or knife on the victims and raped them, according to a New Orleans arrest warrant for Meridy.
The assaults in Louisiana were reported between 2015 and 2018.
The investigation also found DNA that matched three unsolved sexual assaults in Kansas City that happened between 2004 and 2005, according to the warrants, which were filed in a Parish of Orleans state court in Louisiana. The cases in Kansas City also allegedly involved the use of a handgun or knife.
A New Orleans detective found evidence linking Meridy to the sexual assaults, according to the warrant, though it’s unclear what kind of evidence led police to initially suspect Meridy.
Last September, police learned DNA evidence tested from three victims’ sexual assault kits matched an unknown DNA profile. Earlier this month, police were notified of a fourth case with a DNA match.
Police carried out a search warrant Dec. 6 and collected DNA evidence from Meridy. By Monday, police found Meridy’s DNA’s matched DNA collected in the four sexual assault cases in New Orleans, court records said.
Relatives of Meridy in Louisiana said they were trying to learn more about the allegations before they would discuss them.
“I have no comment about my son,” Timira Campbell said Wednesday. “My son is an adult so what he does in his personal life, I don’t have a clue.”
While Meridy sits in jail pending charges in Louisiana, the investigation continues in Kansas City.
On Wednesday, Kansas City police said lab technicians and sex crimes detectives are examining the evidence and attempting to contact the victims from 2004 and 2005.
Once that is complete, the case files will be turned over to Jackson County prosecutors for possible criminal charges, said Kansas City police spokesman Officer Darin Snapp.
Jared D. Bustamante, a spokesman for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office said, “As of now we’re treating this case as an open investigation and will evaluate any case brought to us by KCPD.”