Colorado Springs Police: DNA evidence helps solve 2007 rape of soldier's girlfriend

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A reexamination of DNA evidence helped to solve a 2007 case in which a soldier's girlfriend was raped while the soldier was deployed.

Colorado Springs Police Department spokeswoman Barbara Miller said the suspect, Daniel Robert Gostnell, now 35, had gone on one date with the victim before she met the soldier that became her boyfriend. About six months later, Gostnell allegedly contacted the victim under the guise of checking her welfare while her boyfriend was deployed to Iraq.

Gostnell and the victim went out to play pool, Miller said. Afterward, the victim invited him back to her home to show off a care package she'd prepared for her boyfriend.

The victim said she had a few drinks and didn't remember anything until waking up on the morning of January 25, 2007. Miller said she told officers she'd been sexually assaulted and forensic evidence was collected.

Miller said the case was reviewed by a cold case investigator in 2010 and new leads were pursued. Additional evidence produced a DNA match to Gostnell.

An arrest warrant for Gostnell was issued on Oct. 24 of this year.

Some of the work in reexamining the case, Miller said, was funded by a $464,724 federal grant awarded to CSPD in 2009.