Man in jail for sexual battery of toddler tied to 2013 Volusia rape, investigators say

Cole Eben accused in Daytona Beach Shores attack

Cole Eben, 26, is an Illinois State inmate. (WKMG 2021)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Cole Eben, 26, was already in prison for another heinous crime when investigators with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said DNA connected him to a 2013 rape reported in Daytona Beach Shores.

Eben is currently in prison in Illinois on charges related to the sexual battery of a toddler in 2014, according to his charging documents. He was eligible for parole in 2027 but could now be extradited to Volusia County where he will face unrelated sexual battery charges.

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The attack was reported on Dec. 29, 2013, when beach patrol found a woman on the beach without clothes, cuts on her legs and no memory of what happened to her. According to the investigative report, the victim was visiting from Canada with her family.

Authorities initially questioned Eben because he was staying at the same hotel as the victim and witnesses reported seeing the then 18-year-old man with the victim. Eben told officers he only walked her to her hotel and left her sitting by the patio, according to investigators.

The victim was treated at Halifax Health Medical Center where she underwent a sexual assault exam.

DNA collected from the rape kit was sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for testing and at the time when it was tested, there were no DNA matches in the FBI database, according to the sheriff’s office. In 2019, detectives learned a DNA sample from a kit tested in 2015 matched Eben.

In January 2020, detectives submitted a search warrant for his DNA in connection with a 2013 rape but the warrant wasn’t executed unit April 16, 2021, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

In June, detectives learned that Eben’s DNA profile matched the DNA collected from the victim in 2014. According to investigators, the DNA profile was “700 billion times more likely to occur if the sample originated from Eben than from an unrelated individual.”

On Thursday, detectives with VCSO submitted an affidavit to the State Attorney’s Office for review to charge Eben with the 2013 rape.