Ohio's cold case initiative provided the link that push started the Acevedo case

CLEVELAND - For nearly 20 years an evidence box sat on a shelf in a Cleveland Police evidence room. Inside was DNA gathered in the 1993 rape of a Cleveland woman near West 7th Street and Quigley Road.

Like most evidence boxes it collected dust until Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced in late 2011 the Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Testing Initiative.

His call to Ohio law enforcement agencies was to send all their previously untested rape kits to BCI, where the state will test them free of charge.

Lt. Jim McPike, director of the Cleveland Police Special Victims Section, said the fact that rape cases must be prosecuted within 20 years forced them to pick a date that would give them time.

"Some decisions were made because of the statute of limitations, to start with 1993 cases and work our way forward," McPike told NewsChannel5 in April.

One of the kits they sent to the state for testing involved that unsolved 1993 rape case from West 7th and Quigley.

Roughly 30 percent of all rape cases submitted for testing come back with a hit, prosecutors say this was one of them and the man it led them to was 49 year old Elias Acevedo. But there was something else prosecutors say that caught their attention.

"The rape took place at the same location where Ms. Pemberton's body was found," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty referring to Pamela Pemberton, the 30 year old whose nude body was found in October of 1994.

As investigators began to look more closely at Acevedo sources confirm he lived on Vega Avenue in a house that was connected to the 1993 rape case and where the FBI conducted a search for Christina Adkins who disappeared a few months after Pemberton was killed.

Adkins ID was found next to a body discovered last Friday in an obscure location off Interstates 90 and 490 that McGinty said Thursday Acevedo helped lead them to find.  

"It was in a location that we may never have found it without his assistance, obviously, it hadn't been found for almost 19 years," said McGinty.

"The arrests in this case are the direct result of some of the finest police work I've seen in 40 years in this business," said McGinty. "19 years later and they never stopped trying to solve it."

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