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DNA evidence leads to charges in Montana cold case rape

February 13, 2019

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana prosecutors have charged a man in a case dating back to 1998 in which a woman was raped and had her throat slashed.

The Billings Gazette reports that the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office charged Zachary D. O’Neill with attempted deliberate homicide and sexual intercourse without consent on Jan. 11.

O’Neill, who is in custody in another state, has yet to be arraigned on the charges. It wasn’t immediately known whether he had an attorney.

According to charging documents, O’Neill is accused of attacking a woman who had finished delivering newspapers in Billings on the morning of Sept. 5, 1998, raping her and cutting her throat with a knife.

The woman pretended to be dead and the attacker fled.

Authorities say they have DNA evidence linking O’Neill to the crime.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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