New Jersey detectives make arrest in violent rape, 30 year old cold case

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Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer and Somerdale Police Chief James J. Walsh announce that a Camden County Grand Jury has returned an indictment against 46-year- old Sanika Adams for his involvement in the April 15, 1999, home invasion robbery that remained unsolved until 2020.

This indictment charges Adams, who at the time was a 25-year-old Lawnside resident, with first degree attempted murder, multiple counts of first degree kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, second and third degree aggravated assault, third degree criminal restraint, third degree terroristic threats, fourth degree unlawful possession of weapon, and third degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose.

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Adams is accused of breaking into the home shared by a mother and her adult daughter in the 400 block of Park Avenue in Somerdale in the early morning hours after allegedly cutting the phone lines so the women could not call for help. Adams allegedly then entered the 58-year-old mother’s bedroom as she slept, held a knife to her throat, demanded money, and tied up her 28-year-old daughter. He then allegedly, raped the daughter, stabbed her multiple times, and then fled, leaving her bound and bleeding. When the mother tried to call for help, she realized the phone lines had been cut. She then ran to a neighbor’s home to call police.

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DNA was collected from the victim of the rape, but no perpetrator was identified at the time. However, some 20 years later, the Somerdale Police Department received notification that there was a potential DNA match to Adams in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a national DNA index system. In 2020, the NJSP police lab confirmed that Adams was the source of the DNA taken from the rape victim 21 years ago.


On December 4, 2020, the CCPO and Somerdale PD arrested Adams in South Carolina, where he was residing. “Cold cases often seem hopeless,” said Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer. “However, thanks to the strides law enforcement has made in technology, improved communication between law enforcement agencies, and the sheer tenacity of our Detectives in consistently reviewing cold case files, we are able to finally move forward in seeking justice in this matter. We want the community to know -we will simply never give up.”

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