Algae helps connect suspect in violent kidnapping, rape attempt

Investigators in Orange County say that algae found on a suspect’s clothing helped them identify him as the person who attempted to kidnap and rape a woman while she was walking home from work.

The incident was  reported to have happened on May 12th.

The victim told authorities that as she walked home, the suspect now identified as 30-year-old Patrick Howard attacked her and dragged her into a retention pond.

Authorities say that with the victim’s help, a forensic botanist was able to link algae in the pond to evidence on both the suspect and the victim’s clothing.

Howard has since been arrested and charged with kidnapping with intent to inflict harm or terrorize, and attempted sexual battery.

Authorities also found that Howard is wanted on sex crimes in the Tennessee area.

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