FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Faith. That is what a woman who was raped by two men nearly 30 years ago said she held on to in her search for justice.
On Friday, CBS4 News was first to tell you about an arrest made in the cold case by detectives with the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
The victim, who asked that we call her “Faith”, spoke for the first time about the night in 1985 when two men kidnapped her from a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood and sexually assaulted her for hours. Last Friday the Broward Sheriff’s Office said DNA evidence led to the arrest of Dobie Hunter in the vicious attack. Hunter is locked up without bond.
After nearly three decades the victim said she is finally experiencing justice.
“I’ve prayed 30 years of prayer,” she told CBS 4’s Carey Codd in a exclusive interview. “It’s like I was ready for this now. It was peace. Peace that I couldn’t even describe.”
Faith said she was just 16-years old when she and a friend were walking in the Rock Island neighborhood around 11:00 p.m. when a man got out his car and started chasing her.
“I’m running and I get to this field that was high with grass on it and I paused for a second and that’s how he grabbed me,” she said.
Faith said the men drove her around for hours. Hunter’s arrest report said he and another man took turns sexually assaulting her. Faith said she was angry for a time and couldn’t sleep but then she discovered her faith.
“I got to a point where I said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna have to forgive those two guys and I’m gonna have to get me some sleep and go on with my life,'” she explained. “I can’t spend the rest of my life being scared and not living. If I did that, then they won.”
For years she wondered why her attackers weren’t caught. Last fall, as her daughter was turning 16-years old — the same age she was when the attack happened — she called BSO to inquire about the status of her case.
“I thought about her being back here, home on these streets at 16,” she said.
Detectives said they took a new look at the case, submitted the DNA to the crime lab and got a match to Hunter — a registered sex offender with other sexual assaults on his record. Faith said if there are other victims of Hunter who never came forward, she’s ready to help them.
“Jesus is holding my hand and while he’s holding my hand, I will hold their hand and walk them into any courtroom and help them if that’s what it takes to get this guy put away,” she said.
The victim said that she cannot believe it took investigators nearly three decades to enter the DNA from her case into the criminal database. She believes that had it been done earlier he would have been arrested for the attack on her many years ago since his DNA from other sexual battery cases was on file.
“If they would have put it in or even did it whenever the database came about, they probably would’ve gotten him a lot sooner,” she said.
BSO said there is still a second attacker out there. Faith believes he, too, will soon be in jail.
“I am more than hopeful,” she said. “I have faith.”
If you have any information on this case from 1985 or who the second attacker is, call Broward Crimestoppers at 954 493 TIPS.