DNA from spit links fighter to sexual assaults

Friday, September 23, 2011

DNA from saliva left behind at a gas station has led to the arrest of a professional cage fighter accused of unsolved sexual assaults in several cities, according to an arrest warrant filed in Adams County District Court.

Jeffrey Ford of Lone Tree, CO 41, is facing kidnapping and sexual assault charges for allegedly raping a prostitute in Aurora in 2009. A national DNA database links Ford’s DNA to two other rapes in San Francisco and Kansas City, Missouri, according to the warrant, although he faces charges only in the Colorado case.

The 2009 case involving the Aurora prostitute became active again this past June when a crime analyst located Ford using a partial license plate number.

Ford, also known as “Big Diesel,” became an even stronger suspect when detectives learned he served ten years in a Missouri prison for attacking and raping an 87-year-old woman when he was 17, according to the arrest warrant. Ford was sent to prison in 1987.

Months after his release from prison, a woman in Kansas City reported to police she was raped.

With his criminal history in mind, Aurora investigators began surveillance on Ford with the intent of “surreptitiously collecting his DNA.” After Ford was seen spitting at a gas station, investigators collected a sample.

The investigative technique is rare, said Carlson, “but on a case like this, it’s very serious. We are talking about a sexual assault. It paid off.”

The Combined DNA Index System, also known as CODIS, matched Ford’s DNA profile to the 1997 rape in Kansas City and a 2003 Rape in San Francisco.

Unless Ford has an identical twin, the chances his DNA profile matches another person are extraordinarily small.

Ford is not facing charges relating to the Kansas City or San Francisco cases. In Kansas City, too much time has passed for investigators to legally file charges and in San Francisco, the victim has passed away.

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