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Arrest made in 1999 rape of woman during home invasion, deputies say

DNA wasn't tested until 2018, records show

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested Friday in connection with the 1999 rape of a woman during a home invasion after the DNA collected from the crime scene was recently submitted for testing, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Office.

Records show that on April 17, 1999, the victim said she was at the residence that she had recently moved in to when she awoke to a stranger in her room. The man, later identified as 47-year-old Elin Machado-Ruiz, demanded her money and jewelry, then raped the victim, according to the report.

Machado had cut eye holes out of one of the victim's towels and wore it over his face during the attack, authorities said. He also brandished a knife that he had taken from the victim's kitchen, records show.

Deputies said the victim reported the crime immediately and completed a rape kit, which included DNA evidence.

That evidence was submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing March 13, 2018. It's unclear if any testing had been done on the DNA evidence before then.

On Nov. 20, 2018, deputies learned that the DNA from the rape kit matched Machado's from an arrest in connection with an unrelated burglary in 2002. 

The victim was interviewed again after the DNA match and she said she was still willing to pursue charges. A person who was friends with the victim in 1999 said the victim was too afraid to be alone for a month after the attack.

Machado was interviewed about the allegations but denied having any knowledge about the crime.

A warrant was signed to allow deputies to collect a sample of Machado's DNA for additional testing, which once again matched the DNA from the rape kit, records show.

Machado was arrested Friday on charges of sexual battery, burglary of a dwelling and armed robbery.


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