ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The District Attorney’s Office made a huge announcement last week that a family tree DNA database helped lead them to a man suspected of raping a jogger in the bosque. But could he have caught sooner? Could that assault have been avoided?
On Christmas Eve 2015, a woman jogging on a trail in the South Valley was attacked and raped. “He just saw her and it was a crime of opportunity is what it was,” said Kyle Hartsock with the District Attorney’s Office.
Last week, the District Attorney’s office announced they had charged 23-year-old Angel Gurule for the rape. Through new DNA technology, they found him by linking his lineage through a database of family tree DNA tests. He was arrested at his South Valley home not far from the crime scene.
“He admitted to it. We even took him out to the actual trail and he walked us through, where he saw the victim, where he attacked her…he completely confessed,” Hartsock said.
They also said he had been named as a suspect in the rape of a 14-year-old girl three months before that assault in the bosque. “His name did come up in connection with another report in the months immediately preceding this sexual assault, and so we’re still working to sort of identify the details of that case,” said District Attorney Raul Torrez.
But now, KRQE News 13 has learned through an investigator at the DA’s Office that the other rape happened when a 19-year-old Gurule was a youth group leader at Sagebrush Church.
The 14-year-old girl was in the group and her grandmother walked in on the two having sex. That’s statutory rape because she was too young to consent.
A criminal complaint says bed sheets were taken from the girl’s home and tagged into evidence by Albuquerque Police, but they were never tested, therefore a DNA profile was never generated into the DNA database.
Since Gurule was never arrested, he didn’t have to submit his DNA. The DA’s Office said when Gurule was recently questioned about the jogger attack, he was also questioned about raping the 14-year-old, which they say he then confessed to as well.
The DA’s Office said they are working with the Albuquerque Police Department to file charges, and are trying to get all the evidence tested.
KRQE News 13 heard back from APD today, they say they can’t find any records to show if or how they worked the case back then.