LEE COUNTY- DNA that was obtained during a burglary investigation more than four years ago has allowed detectives with the Lee County Sheriff's to close the books on a 2006 sexual assault case.
Deputies with the Lee County Sheriff's Office were notified of an adult female who was sexually assaulted by an unknown offender in Veterans Park in Lehigh Acres on September 23, 2006. Due to the nature of the incident, detectives assigned to the Lee County Sheriff's Office Special Victim's Unit assumed the investigation.
During the investigation, detectives were able to obtain a DNA sample of the unknown suspect from the victim. The suspect's sample was submitted to the Florida department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in hopes of obtaining a DNA profile match in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and providing investigators with the suspect's identity.
With no DNA match, the case remained active but eventually grew cold. Several possible suspects were identified through the course of the case, but all possible leads ultimately hit a dead end.
Then, in January 2011, a FDLE lab report indicated that DNA recovered from a 2010 burglary matched the DNA sample taken from the 2006 sexual assault case. Utilizing several investigative tools, detectives learned the DNA belonged to 28-year-old John Carter Shackelford , a man well known to law enforcement and involved with multiple burglaries that occurred in 2010.
Following the burglary charges, Shackelford spent time in the Lee County Jail and was released in November 2010. He was placed on probation and relocated to Polk County. After learning of the DNA match, detectives requested a warrant for Shackelford's arrest. The warrant was granted and Shackelford was arrested on February 9, 2011, in Polk County.
Shackelford has been charged with one count of Sexual Battery. He is currently in the Polk County Jail and will be transported back to Lee County pending extradition.