The traumatized child went back into her home and into her room, where she was discovered by her parents when they arrived home. The child was taken to the emergency room where it was discovered that she had suffered considerable injury in connection to her sexual assault.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department commenced an investigation including the collection of evidence which may have contained biological information on the child’s assailant. Those items were transported to the Indiana State Police lab in anticipation of testing.
However, the investigation at that time was unable to lead to an arrest and the case subsequently grew cold.
In 2011, the now adult victim made contact with the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department seeking information about the case. Diana Hoke, Administrative Assistant to the Sheriff, provided assistance to the victim and was able to locate materials from the original file. As Ms. Hoke determined that Prosecutor Investigator Gary Kenawell had worked on the case in 1988 when he was a detective for the Sheriff’s Department, Ms. Hoke contacted Investigator Kenawell to inform him of the victim’s inquiry. Kenawell reviewed the available information and recalling the case, he received authorization from the Prosecuting Attorney to conduct further investigation. Kenawell was able to determine that the several samples submitted to ISP for testing in 1988 were still at the lab and that sufficient biological material was present to warrant sampling.
The sample was taken for preliminary DNA analysis and it was determined that the samples included the DNA of the victim as well as an unknown male. Kenawell requested that the ISP submit the sample. In the late fall of 2012, we received notice in the form of an “investigative lead” that a possible match had been found. Based upon the information received, a warrant was requested to secure a “suspect sample” for DNA comparison. Once a confirmatory suspect sample is obtained and submitted to the lab its DNA profile is identified.
On February 13, 2013, laboratory results were received indicating that to a reasonable degree of scientific certainty the DNA of the unknown male assailant from March 5, 1988, was Robert E. Quinn, 50, an inmate in the Indiana Department of Correction. Quinn is serving a sentence on a parole violation from a 2005 child molestation charge out of Elkhart County.
Based upon the information and investigation we have filed the following charges against Robert E Quinn: Rape, a Class A Felony; Child Molesting, a Class B Felony; and Criminal Confinement, a Class B Felony. A Class B Felony is punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment. A Class A Felony is punishable by up to 50 years in the DOC.
Information from Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill.