(SPARTANBURG, SC)- Between 1995 and 2003, 12 women in Spartanburg County were the victims of criminal sexual conduct or attempted criminal sexual conduct. All of the offenses occurred at apartment complexes in the early morning hours, and from interviewing the victims, a suspect description was developed.
The victims in these cases described the offender as a black male, 5’10 to 6’00 tall, 160-180 pounds, well spoken, wearing dark clothing and either a ball cap or toboggan. The suspect’s actions in all the incidents were also very similar, leading investigators to believe that all the offenses were committed by the same person. Once the results of DNA analysis came back on the completed criminal sexual conduct cases, it confirmed all the incidents were committed by the same person. Despite numerous potential suspects being interviewed and their DNA collected and analyzed, the results never revealed a suspect. Further compounding the investigation is that the suspect never established a pattern, as evidenced by gaps of 16 months, 20 months, and 37 months between incidents. All the victims were white females, and their ages ranged from 14-51 years old. One of the victims was targeted twice, for a total of 13 incidents.
Approximately six (6) months ago, investigators with both the Spartanburg City Police Department and the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office began looking at these cases from a different perspective. Officers began an aggressive new look at the cases with specific emphasis on forensic evidence. Technological advances have allowed the investigative teams to expand their capabilities and review of the cases.
Investigators from both agencies worked tirelessly reviewing all of the old cases, re-interviewing victims, identifying potential family members of possible suspects, collecting new DNA samples, and sending that evidence to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for analysis. SPD received a notification from SLED earlier this month that through their analysis, a suspect with a matching DNA profile had been identified. That profile matched the evidence collected from the victims in six (6) of the completed criminal sexual conduct cases.
Press Conference Live Stream with Spartanburg Herald-Journal
For nearly 24 years, these investigators just had a sketch, statements and DNA samples collected from six incidents that matched the same person. In some of the incidents, it was a matter of no evidence to be collected or it was an attempted rape in other cases, which is why investigators couldn’t pin down who the suspect was for a long time.
The suspect was identified as Gregory Howard Frye, B/M, 121 Clint Ct., Spartanburg, SC, 29307. Frye was arrested by investigators from both agencies on April 3, 2019, and transported to the Spartanburg Police Department. Frye is charged with one count of Burglary – First Degree, Kidnapping, and Criminal Sexual Conduct – First Degree for one of the incidents in the county. Additional charges are pending, and Frye went before a magistrate, who informed him he would have to appear before a circuit court judge for arraignment at a later date.
Both Spartanburg agencies have been in contact with neighboring agencies in order to allow them to review any similar crimes in their jurisdictions. Two of Frye’s incidents occurred in the city limits of Spartanburg, and the remaining 11 incidents occurred in the county.
Here’s a map of the assaults that happened throughout Spartanburg County and the City of Spartanburg. Legend Purple: 1995 Brown: 1996 Green: 1997 Blue: 1998 Maroon: 1999 Yellow: 2002-2003
A background check shows Frye having three prior criminal charges in South Carolina, though he has several convictions for various traffic violations, including failure to stop for blue lights. The cases were filed on 04/09/19 or 04/11/19 and a court appearance date is still pending being calendared at this time per the Spartanburg County Seventh Judicial Circuit Public Index.