5:06 PM EST, November 20, 2012
KENT COUNTY, Mich. – Police in west Michigan say a sexual assault cold case from 1981 has been reopened and they have a suspect.
The suspect is linked to a similar crime in Elkhart County.
On December 17, 1981, a 23-year-old woman was at her Kent County, Mich. home when an unknown man knocked on her door.
Police say the victim answered the door to the man who was said to be 18-19-years-old asking for directions. After a few seconds, the suspect pushed his way into the home and put a gun to the woman’s head. He ordered the woman into her bedroom and sexually assaulted her. The victim called police, and she was taken to the hospital for examination.
On March 26, 1982, the case was closed since police didn’t have any suspects or leads.
Recently, a detective reviewed several cold criminal sexual conduct cases in west Michigan to determine if they had any evidence that could be submitted for DNA testing. Investigators were able to get DNA that matched Joseph Blackmer of Michigan City.
Blackmer is currently in the Miami Correctional Facility in Bunker Hill, Ind. for a similar crime he committed in Elkhart County. Police say Blackmer committed the Elkhart County crime on June 2, 1982 and was caught the same day. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 90 years in prison but could be eligible for parole in the next 10 years.
The Kent County prosecutor’s office reviewed the case and authorized a warrant for Blackmer for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 1st degree.
Police say Blackmer is expected to be moved from Miami County across the border to Kent County, Mich. to face the charges against him there.
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