Police: DNA from Orlando burglary case helps solve Ohio rape case

Orlando police say DNA from a burglary suspect in Central Florida led to a connection with a rape case in Columbus, Ohio.  

Police say 32-year-old Travis Niemi broke into an auto body shop off of Orange Blossom Trail back in November of 2015. It was an off-duty officer who noticed Niemi inside the front door.  According to investigators, Niemi broke the front glass door and side windows of the shop which are now boarded up. Police say they discovered Niemi hiding between two cars. They say he had cuts on his hand all from the shattered glass.

"There was blood on him and on the business that was burglarized," said Orlando Police Sgt. Wanda Ford.  She said officers tested that blood, and because of that, investigators discovered something else. "Our CSI collected blood evidence and that blood evidence was submitted into the Florida Department of Law Enforcement database. Once that hit the database, Ohio was able to connect him to a rape that occurred almost five years ago."

Police say Niemi attacked an Ohio State student back in 2011. "It was a brutal rape. It was a rape, kidnapping and burglary. I think this is just a great example of how technology has advanced and we're able to solve something that happened in a different state."

Now, officers are trying to determine if he could be responsible for other sexual batteries in the Orlando area. "Yes that we are definitely looking into," said Sgt. Ford.  Police say Niemi was still in jail on the burglary charges, when the DNA rape connection was made.