After more than 30 years without a lead, Baton Rouge Police arrested a suspect in a rape and kidnapping case from 1981 following the victim's request that DNA evidence from the crime be reexamined with updated technology.
In the early hours of the morning on Aug. 11, 1981, a woman parked at the original location of Women's Hospital on Airline Highway to visit a friend. She began to walk toward the building entrance through the parking lot when she was approached by a man in an olive green Ford Maverick, the arrest report says. She told investigators she didn't know the man.
The assailant pointed a gun at her and demanded she get into his vehicle, or he would shoot her. While the woman tried to reason with him, he pulled her into the vehicle and a struggle began. As the victim attempted to break free, the gun went off, injuring the man in his arm.
Though he was injured, the man was able to drive the victim to another location on Airline Drive while she begged for her life, according to the report. He parked the car and threatened to choke the woman if she did not comply with his demands. The man raped her and then drove her back to the hospital, where he released her.
DNA evidence was collected from both the victim and the scene of the assault, the report says, but all leads were exhausted at the time. Only when the woman came forward recently to inquire about reexamining the evidence in her case were investigators able to find and arrest a suspect.
Investigators learned DNA samples from the incident had been sent to the Louisiana State Police crime lab in the 1980s, but limitations in technology at that time prevented any usable leads from developing, the arrest report says. After running the tests again, investigators were able to match a sample found on the victim's clothing with Donald Ray Dunn Sr., 56.
Dunn was booked Friday night into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on one count each of aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping, according to booking documents. Bail was set at $150,000.