Originally on Spectrum News

January 30, 2020

After more than four years, a violent sexual assault case has been solved.

  • Police say the incident happened in November 11, 2015 on Ellerbe Creek Trail in Durham
  • Emanuel Burch is charged with first degree sexual assault and attempted first degree murder
  • Since addressing the Durham Police Department’s untested sexual assault evidence kits, five other cold cases have resulted in arrests

Around 6 p.m. on November 11, 2015, police say a woman told them she was approached by a man from behind, choked unconscious, and then pulled into the woods, where she was sexually assaulted. The victim was later taken to the hospital.

The incident occurred on Ellerbe Creek Trail in Durham, near West Trinity Avenue.

After coming up short for several years, police finally sent DNA evidence for testing in September 2019. In October 2019, investigators obtained a search warrant and collected a DNA sample from a potential suspect. It wasn’t until earlier this month that police had an official match.

Police arrested Emanuel Burch, 32, in connection with the case last week in Chapel Hill. Burch is charged with first degree sexual assault and attempted first degree murder. Burch is being held at the Durham County Jail under a $500,000 bond.