Crime & Courts

2 women were raped on a Charlotte road in 1992. DNA leads to an arrest, police say

DNA evidence led to the arrest this week of a 46-year-old Charlotte man in connection with sexual assaults against two women in 1992, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Friday.

Antwan Kirkland’s arrest on Wednesday was the latest stemming from a federal grant that enabled authorities to make a DNA match after reexamining an unsolved decades-old rape case.

Kirkland is accused of sexually assaulting two victims, then 19 and 20, who were leaving the Charlotte area on May 30, 1992, when they “accepted directions” from two strangers, according to a CMPD news release. The strangers got into the women’s car, police said.

“The victims were directed to the 4600 block of Cheviot Road, where they were robbed of their jewelry at gunpoint and sexually assaulted,” according to CMPD’s news release. Cheviot Road is in north Charlotte.

The women were treated at Carolinas Medical Center, and sexual assault kits were completed, police said.

The kits were tested in 1992, according to police, and then again in 2018 as a part of a federal grant CMPD received.

Kirkland was interviewed at police headquarters, taken to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and charged with two counts each of first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping and robbery with a dangerous weapon, and four counts of first-degree sex offense.

Antwan Kirkland.jpg
Mecklenburg County jail

He was jailed on $275,000 bail, jail record show.

There have been other cold-case arrests recently.

On Wednesday, citing “improved crime lab technology,” police arrested a suspect in the 1991 fatal shooting of Yolanda Yvette Hoey, a 26-year-old Charlotte mother.

And in January, police arrested a suspect in the 1995 rape of a woman who was assaulted while walking on Nations Ford Road. Police retested the sexual assault kit and said they matched DNA evidence with 43-year-old Nathaney Davis.

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Joe Marusak has been a reporter for The Charlotte Observer since 1989 covering the people, municipalities and major news events of the region, and was a news bureau editor for the paper. He currently reports on breaking news.