Police search for man linked to decades-old rape case

ATLANTA — Police are searching for an alleged attacker who they said has been linked to a nearly 30-year-old rape case.

Police believe Melton Chapman raped a woman at the former Bowen Homes in Atlanta on June 22, 1989.

Police said Chapman broke into the home through the window.

“He put something over her head, either a pillow or pillowcase, and threatened her with a gun,” Detective Ronald Sluss said.

The original police report said the suspect threatened to kill the victim, who was in her 20s, if she tried to look at his face.


Detectives in the Special Victims Unit got a DNA match this week that linked Chapman to the crime scene.

“We were able to get some DNA evidence off of a rape kit that was sent to the crime lab,” Sluss said.

The Bowen Homes, a housing project known for its high crimes and drug issues, was demolished in 2009.

Detectives are hoping they will be able to find Chapman.

“Because of the age of this case, we have to move fast. It’s been 27 years without any closure for the victim,” Atlanta police Sgt. Lucas Wagaman said.

Detectives believe Chapman may be homeless because his family has not heard from him in months.

They believe he may be hiding out in Fulton, Cobb, or Clayton County because he has been arrested in those areas recently.

If you have any information on the case, you can call CrimeStoppers at 404-577-8477.