Former Arkansas police chief named suspect in 1997 rape of teacher

SOURCE: 4029

Because of a DNA sample, an over 20 year old cold-case now has a suspect. Former police chief of Gateway, Arkansas, Grant Hardin was named the suspect, announced Monday by Rogers Police, during a press conference. 

The case involved a teacher who was raped at Frank Tillery Elementary School on Sunday, November 9, 1997.

Hardin pleaded guilty last fall to the February 2017 murder of a man in northern Benton County. He was accused of shooting and killing James Appleton. It was during this process that Hardin’s DNA was taken.

The teacher went into her classroom that morning to clean up and complete lesson plans. She told police she left her classroom to use the restroom when she was approached by a man disguised with a knit stocking and sunglasses and carrying a pistol. The man raped her and he quickly fled the scene.

The teacher was able to give a description of the suspect, and a police sketch was made. For the next 20 years, the case was unsolved, until now.

Ashley King

Ashley King

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