Crime

DNA test in Alaska leads to arrest in 2004 Tacoma rape

Dean Macy Colbray was arrested Oct. 24 in Anchorage, Alaska, for a domestic incident in which he allegedly came home drunk, choked a woman and pointed a gun at her.

DNA was taken from Colbray, 53, while he was at the Anchorage Correctional Complex.

The assault and weapons charges Colbray faced eventually were dismissed but his DNA matched that taken from a May 10, 2004, rape in Tacoma.

In the attack, a woman trying to find a shelter was taken to an apartment and given a drink. She fell asleep and was raped, court documents state.

Colbray was arrested Wednesday in Lakewood by the FBI’s South Sound Gang Task Force and was charged with second-degree rape in the case.

He’d been charged in absentia in Pierce County Superior Court on Jan. 24, 2008, as “Andy Doe.”

“He was totally gone, totally free, thinking he got away with it,” Tacoma police spokeswoman Loretta Cool said. “And his DNA captured him.”

According to court documents:

Late on May 10, 2004, the victim was in Tacoma, trying to find a women’s shelter but got lost. She asked two men at a gas station for directions, and followed them to a residence on the Hilltop.

She drank alcohol and passed out on the couch. She awoke to being raped by a man who had identified himself to her as Andy.

She screamed and fled, driving to a friend’s house. The victim put her clothing in a plastic bag, gave it to police and went to a hospital for an examination.

A Washington State Patrol forensic scientist analyzed sperm samples in May 2005, and the results were entered into the federal Combined DNA Index System.

The case was cold until Colbray’s arrest in Alaska.

About 10 p.m. on Oct. 24, a neighbor called police to investigate a domestic fight between Colbray and a woman, said Anchorage police spokeswoman Renee Oistad, who gave this account:

The woman told police an argument started after Colbray came home drunk and “chest bumped” her. She pushed him away and he put her hands around her neck a couple times and began to squeeze.

She punched him to get him to let go. Colbray left the room and returned with a gun, which he pointed at the woman but did not shoot.

Colbray was charged with the assault and weapon counts but the case was dismissed when the woman would not meet with Anchorage police for a follow-up interview, District Attorney Clint Campion said.

Anyone arrested on a felony charge in Alaska must give a DNA sample.

“Police certainly had probable cause at the time they took the report,” Campion said.

Only sex offenders and some violent felons are required to provide DNA samples in Washington. But because the DNA sample in Alaska was obtained legally, police and prosecutors can use it, Cool said.

The FBI and Tacoma police worked together on the cold case and charges were amended May 2 when Colbray’s identity was matched to the DNA taken in May 2004.

The rape victim was contacted again and said she wanted the case to be tried, Cool said.

Colbray, who grew up in the South Sound, was arrested Wednesday in the 5200 block of Chicago Avenue Southwest in Lakewood, Cool said.

Campion said Colbray has a pending prosecution for driving under the influence after a May 24, 2015, arrest in Anchorage. The trial was supposed to start later in June.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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