Law enforcement officials announced the arrest of a suspected serial rapist in Spartanburg County.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Spartanburg Police Department and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators say Gregory Howard Frye, 52, of Spartanburg raped or attempted to rape 12 victims at different apartment complexes.
“I can’t imagine how some of the victims must have felt knowing that it took this long,” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said.
The 24-year “reign of terror,” as Sheriff Wright called it, came to an end when investigators arrested Frye at his home on Clint Ct. in Spartanburg on Tuesday.
The sheriff praised new forensic technology for the break in the investigation.
“It wasn’t from a lack of effort on law enforcement’s part. It’s just that some things caught up and helped us out,” Sheriff Wright said.
Frye is accused of raping nine women and attempting to rape three more between 1995 and 2003.
Investigators say the victims were between 14 and 51 years old.
Two assaults happened in the city of Spartanburg, while 11 were in Spartanburg County.
“One of the victims was targeted twice,” said Spartanburg Police Chief Alonzo Thompson.
Chief Thompson says Frye’s attack patterns were unpredictable as evident in the length of time between each incident. However, all the victims had similar stories.
According to a Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office news release, all of the offenses happened in the early morning hours. Victims described the suspect as 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall and weighing around 160 to 190 pounds. Investigators say the victims described the suspect as well-spoken, wearing dark clothing and either a baseball cap or toboggan.
For nearly 24 years, investigators just had a sketch, statements and DNA samples collected from six incidents that matched the same person.
Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Kevin Bobo said there was either no evidence to be collected or it was an attempted rape in the other cases.
That’s why investigators couldn’t pin down who the suspect was for a long time.
“Approximately six months ago, investigators with both the Spartanburg City Police Department and Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office began looking at these cases from a different perspective,” Chief Thompson said.
Chief Thompson said the team of investigators collected new DNA samples that they sent to the State Law Enforcement Division, SLED, for forensic analysis and finally got a hit.
“We received notification from SLED last week, that through their analysis the suspect with the matching DNA profile has been identified as Gregory Howard Frye,” Thompson said.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office tells 7News an ancestry test matched the DNA collected from the crimes scenes back to Frye.
Frye was charged with first-degree burglary, kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct for one of the incidents that happened in the county.
More charges are pending.
Frye remains in the Spartanburg County Detention Center without bond.
Frye appeared before a magistrate judge on Tuesday night, who said he would have to appear before a circuit court judge for arraignment at a later date.
The sheriff’s office and police department have notified neighboring agencies to allow them to review any similar crimes in their jurisdictions.