CLEARFIELD – Police say they’re thrilled a suspected serial rapist is behind bars, but, they say they still have a mountain of work left to do.
Geneticists solved these cases, according to police. Clearfield Police Chief Kelly Bennett says a geneticist took a sample from a rape in 2001 and created a genetic family tree. They found similar markers between their sample and a man who submitted a sample on a family search website.
“He was in the database on a website saying, ‘Help me find my [biological] grandma,” he says.
That man turned out to be a second cousin, twice removed, from their suspect, Mark Douglas Burns.
After that, they were able to narrow down their search to Burn’s half-brother, then Burns himself. Since he was a long-haul trucker that covered most western U.S. states, Bennett says they believe there could be other attacks that happened since 2001.
“We don’t believe he stopped. We don’t have any evidence one way or the other, but, we don’t believe he did. That’s part of our investigation. We want to happen what has happened since 2001,” Bennett says.
Burns’ DNA has linked him to rapes in Ogden, Clearfield, Layton and Riverdale, as well as Laramie and Rock Springs, Wyoming. Lynnette Griffith was the investigator for Burns’ alleged first attack in 1991 in Rock Springs. She says this case has been deeply personal to her.
Griffith says, “This was a break-in at the house of a young girl who was 14. She was bound with duct tape with a sock stuck in her mouth. He had a gun. That just should never happen to a child. It shouldn’t happen to anybody.”
Ogden Police Captain Timothy Scott was working for Clearfield Police at the time of the attacks. He says they’ve been haunting him for decades.
“This file has been within an arm’s reach of me in every office I’ve moved to, which has been dozens of offices,” Scott says.
Burns is currently facing eight counts of aggravated sexual assault, six counts of aggravated kidnapping, two counts of aggravated burglary and one count aggravate robbery.
Today’s Top Stories
- New dress guidelines announced for male missionaries — in some areas
- Second Amendment rally at state capitol to push back against new gun laws
- Utah Utes let go of Coach K after 10 seasons
- State parks hope to have new ‘glamping’ campsites available for busy Memorial Day weekend
- Utah’s congressional representatives talk to KSL’s Dave & Dujanovic about…
- AMBER Alert system on pause after empty message in middle of night
- Backcountry avalanche alert in effect as crews mitigate risk
- Now’s your chance to pick up US postage stamps honoring military dogs
- Lawmakers promote bill prohibiting online impersonation
- Valentine’s is Long Since Over: Here are 5 Year Round Ways You Can Continue to Share…