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An Indiana State Police Car sits in Monument Square in downtown Indianapolis on December 22, 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images)

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Ind. — It’s been just over a quarter of a century since Indiana State Police began investigating a 1996 rape in Crawford County. Monday, police announced they finally have their man.

“Back in 1996, the late [detective] Charlie McDaniel began this investigation in a remote part of Crawford County,” says Indiana State Police Sergeant Robert Lambert. A juvenile female had been raped, and the suspect got out of dodge before the cops arrived. DNA evidence was collected, but DNA testing was still in its growing stages – it wasn’t as refined and advanced as it is today.

In September of 2019, the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) got a match. CODIS keeps a stockpile of DNA data collected by the FBI, and that DNA data identified Terry Daffron as the man responsible for the rape over 25 years ago. An arrest warrant was served by ISP Detective Ryan Conrad. Daffron was already locked-up for another crime.

Catching the crook 25 years later was only part of the cold case. The other part is closure for the victim, who is “doing well” now, says Sgt. Lambert. Without the advancement of forensic technology, it may have been another two decades before the crime was solved and Daffron was brought to justice. It may have never happened.

“The matches of these DNAs is astronomical,” says Lambert, “it’s nearly 100-percent.”

On October 20th, Daffron accepted a plea deal in the Crawford County Circuit Court for rape. He’s scheduled for a sentencing hearing later this year.