DNA evidence links suspect to Darlington sexual assault - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

DNA evidence links suspect to Darlington sexual assault

Antwine Ham. Source: Darlington County Detention Center. Antwine Ham. Source: Darlington County Detention Center.
Ham | Darlington County Sheriff's Office Ham | Darlington County Sheriff's Office

DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) A DNA match is how investigators say they found the man behind a sexual assault involving a 16-year-old girl in Darlington.

“We don't think he needs to be out on the streets,” Darlington County Sheriff Wayne Byrd said.

Antwine Ham, 34, is the man investigators say sexually assaulted a teen girl almost two weeks ago.

Investigators said the crime happened along Highway 151. Investigators say the young victim was on her way to an evening school event around 6:30 p.m.

For a short time, investigators were out looking for the man behind this crime, and at one point it was not known if the suspect lived in the area. All that changed when forensic analyzers got DNA left behind from the assault.

“We got a call from SLED that they had gotten a DNA profile back from the evidence we had submitted to them, and that profile matched somebody that was already in the system,” Byrd said.

Turns out that Antwine Ham is a convicted felon. According to Florence County Court officials, in 1998 he was charged with second-degree lynching. Under state law all people charged with felonies have to submit a DNA sample.

Sheriff Byrd said it was the quick and correct thinking of that young victim's parent that helped deputies land a suspect in this case so quickly.

“She told her father what had happened, he immediately took her to a local hospital and the hospital is familiar with that protocol …collect the evidence, collect anything that may have had DNA on it,” Byrd said.

Ham is currently being held here at the Darlington County Detention Center.

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