MOORESVILLE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — A Mooresville man was arrested Thursday in connection to a rape and attempted murder that happened 38 years ago in Missouri, according to the Mooresville Police Department.

James Wilson (Iredell County Detention Center)

59-year-old James Frederick Wilson is accused of abducting a person by knifepoint in Columbia, Missouri on March 24, 1984.

Police said the victim encountered an unknown suspect while walking to work and was abducted. The suspect drove the victim to a dead-end road where they were raped.

Authorities said the suspect then attempted to murder the victim and dump their body in a nearby creek. The victim suffered serious life-threatening injuries but survived.

In 2020, authorities said the case was assigned to a cold case detective with Missouri’s Columbia Police Department. Investigators used DNA to further investigation and identified Wilson as the suspect.

Investigators said Wilson was a former Columbia, Missouri resident now living in Mooresville. Detectives with the Mooresville Police Department and State Bureau of Investigation “covertly” obtained a DNA sample from Wilson and sent them to Columbia Police for analysis.

The recovered DNA matched the DNA evidence recovered in the initial investigation, police said.

Wilson was arrested at his home on Ashton Park Drive on Wednesday and charged with Felony Forcible Rape with a Weapon and Felony Assault in the 1st Degree with a Deadly Weapon.

He is being held under a $1 million secured bond at the Iredell County Detention Center and is awaiting extradition to Missouri.

Columbia, Missouri Police would not tell Queen City News how old the victim was at the time of the alleged rape but said that she was not a child in the “general sense” of the word.

Anyone with information related to the case is asked to contact MPD Detectives at 704-664-3311 or contact CPD Detectives at or 573-874-7400.