Clay neighbors react to cold case being cracked
Clay, N.Y. —
A man previously convicted of sexually abusing two young girls in Oswego County is now facing charges for a similar case in Onondaga County in 2002.
It was a shocking attack on a 10-year-old girl somewhere off Bear Road in Clay in 2002.
Sixteen years later, not just an arrest, but also a relief for some neighbors.
"I feel good that he's actually been caught," James Haze said.
However, others say it's alarming that it took so long to track down the suspect, Shad Goldthwait.
"Kind of unsettling because who knows what else has been going on? You know, not only with him but maybe with other people in this area," business owner Nicholas Heney said.
Onondaga County Sheriff Eugene Conway says the 2002 attack happened in a wooded area in the apartment complex where both the perpatrator and the victim lived.
Authorities say a DNA sample cracked this cold case.
They say DNA taken from Shad Goldthwait matched the DNA found in the victim's clothes.
Authorities took the sample from Goldthwait in 2016 when he was arrested for sexually assaulting two other minors in Oswego.
"This is extremely disturbing, and should be, to our community, that we have sexual predators," Conway said.
Armed with his DNA, investigators are now looking into whether he's linked to any other attacks.
"Who knows in that timeframe how many other victims there may be out there," Conway said. "We will continue to investigate this and see if there are perhaps similar cases that fit this M.O."
Sheriff Conway hopes this will bring new hope to other cases gone cold.
As he thinks of the girl who was attacked so many years ago, he says she is relieved and willing to cooperate with the investigation if necessary.