LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- In 1995, a juvenile girl was walking home from school in Las Vegas when a man approached her from behind, threatened to kill her and sexually assaulted her in broad daylight. Almost 26 years later, a suspect has been arrested through DNA testing, according to an arrest report.
On the afternoon of Nov. 29, 1995, a girl told Las Vegas police she was forced to the ground and raped near a church by an unknown man who told her "if you do anything stupid, I'll kill you," a police report read.
Immediately after the assault, medical examiners retrieved DNA from a rape kit. Flash forward to 2019, and the results of the kit were compared through the National DNA Index System and a cheek swab from the suspect. Authorities found a match more than two decades later — 58-year-old Matthew Scott Laycock from Las Vegas.
In 2019, police formed the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI). In June of that year, a DNA match was found for Laycock in the system. Two months later, the case was reopened with LVMPD's Cold Case Sexual Assault Section.
Through the course of their investigations, authorities determined Laycock still resided in Las Vegas, but was homeless and not connected with any one address in the valley. Due to DNA evidence, arrest warrants were issued in his name through Las Vegas Municipal Court.
On Oct. 29, 2020, another warrant was issued by the Henderson Police Department after he failed to appear in court for a separate misdemeanor crime. On May 3, 2021, Laycock was found again, but he was hospitalized at UMC Hospital for some unknown condition.
The DA's Office granted police a search warrant to take Laycock's DNA through a mouth swab and connected the man to the 1995 sexual assault case. He was taken into custody that night.
At the time of his arrest, Laycock told police he had never sexually assaulted anyone and demanded more details, the report said.
He was booked at the Clark County Detention Center on a charge of sexual assault of a child less than 16. His preliminary hearing in Justice Court was set for May 20 at 9:00 a.m. before Judge Karen Bennett-Haron.