Officer David Baldwin with Marietta Police said a local woman contacted the department in September wanting to know if a man who had raped her in the mid-1980s was the same man being tried in Fulton.
Daniel Wade, 63, also known as the maintenance man rapist, is accused of committing at least five rapes in the 1980s at various apartment complexes along northeast Atlanta’s I-85 corridor.
“She was curious to see if this man was linked to what had happened to her,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin said the Marietta Police resubmitted the evidence collected from the Marietta crime scene to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation lab.
Instead of a match to the Fulton case, the results connected DNA taken from Antonio Brooks in 2008 to the local unsolved rape, as well as another cold case from 1986.
Brooks, 44, has been serving time at the Lee State Prison in Leesburg since he was convicted on rape and aggravated sodomy charges in 1989. He was sentenced to 30 years.
“A review of the two open rape cases revealed that not only did the DNA match that of Brooks, but the methodology used in the 1988 rape conviction matched that of the two open cases as well,” Baldwin said.
Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds said it is common for the prison system to collect DNA from inmates, but he did not know why Brooks’ DNA was not collected for 20 years.
Reynolds said he commends Marietta Police for solving the cold cases, “despite having a lot of age on them.”
Now, Reynolds said he will continue the process of seeking justice and getting closure for the linked victims.
However, because the cases are old, Reynolds said witnesses may have lost some memories about the crimes or may no longer live at their last known addresses.
To establish the burden of proof, Reynolds said, the district attorney’s office will “plug all the holes of the case.”
Victims reveal similar stories
Brooks, now 44, was 16 years old in September 1986, when Marietta Police say he committed at least three rapes within a quarter mile of each other along Franklin Road.
One of the cases resulted in Brooks being tried and convicted as an adult, but justice for the other two rapes was delayed more than 25 years.
At 6 a.m. on Sept. 1, 1986, Brooks allegedly entered an apartment at the former Preston Chase complex, which was purchased by the city in 2010 and razed.
He snuck through a sliding door “while the victim was in the bathroom getting ready for the day,” the warrant said.
Wielding a knife, Brooks “rapidly and forcefully” took control of the victim, who did not live at the apartment but was there visiting a friend, the warrant said.
Brooks did not know the woman or the person she was visiting who rented the apartment.
Then at 12:15 a.m. on Sept. 3, 1986, Brooks allegedly knocked on the door of an apartment at The Crossings Wood Station apartment complex off Franklin Road.
After a woman “opened the door slightly,” the warrant said Brooks forced his way into the apartment and sexually assaulted her.
Brooks faces additional charges of rape, aggravated assault and burglary in these two revived cases.