Police in Clayton County, Georgia, have arrested a suspected serial rapist that has been terrorizing the community for years. And, according to ABC News, it turns out that the alleged suspect had actually been hired as a police recruit last year.
The suspect in question, Kenneth Thomas Bowen III, has been linked by DNA to eight cases and was arrested on Tuesday on warrants for seven rapes and one case of sexual battery.
Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts said that the department has been investigating the series of assaults and rapes that had become a “cloud over the community,” since July 4, 2015.
But within at least the last year, the alleged rapist had been right under police’s noses for at least a few months.
The suspect, the police chief acknowledged, “was hired, by me, in June of 2018…and he was also terminated by me on Sept. 12, 2018. He was removed from this agency during the academy process for being absent without leave. And during the internal investigation, he was untruthful which caused me to separate him from this agency.”
Bowen “was never a certified police officer with this agency,” Roberts said.
However, his recruitment worked out for the department in its own way.
“Had he not attempted to join the ranks of the Clayton County Police Department, it’s questionable as to when we would have apprehended him,” Roberts said.
Bowen started to draw scrutiny as the police department reviewed 911 call reports of suspicious people.
“We reviewed those calls and looked for names and the calls to see if perhaps an officer had, in fact, contacted him at some point in the past and run his name and birth date,” Clayton County Police Lt. Tom Reimers said. “That did lead to obtaining his name and birth date from a call from 2016.”
From there, investigators noticed a “striking resemblance” between Bowen’s photo and the suspect sketches from victims.
Ultimately, last week, a search warrant was obtained for Bowen’s DNA. Investigators executed a traffic stop to get his DNA. Those results came back positive on Tuesday, Reimers added.
“We are in a safer state today because of Kenneth Bowen’s arrest,” the chief said.