A Tennessee man was convicted of a 2001 rape after authorities finally decided to look at the dentures he left at the scene of the crime and discovered his name was printed inside of them.
Thomas Maupin, 67, pleaded guilty to raping a 31-year-old woman on Aug. 19, 2001, according to the Commercial Appeal. Shelby County Criminal Court Judge Lee Coffee sentenced him on July 24 to eight years in prison.
Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich said the attack began when Maupin got out of his car and started walking near the victim, WREG reports. Moments later, he pushed her into an alley. He then stabbed her under the chin with a metal instrument, using so much force that it punctured the roof of the victim's mouth.
After forcing the victim to perform oral sex on him, Maupin sexually assaulted her with the metal object.
Maupin's dentures, which had his name imprinted on them, were recovered at the scene of the attack. Rather than test the dentures, investigators added them the victim's rape kit and placed it alongside a large collection of untested kits.
In July 2016 -- 15 years after the assault took place -- the dentures were brought to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for testing. A partial DNA profile "showed to be consistent with that of Maupin," Weirich's office said, according to the Commercial Appeal. It was also discovered that his name was printed inside the dentures.
Maupin had the false teeth made for him while he was serving a prison sentence for the 1988 murder of a child in Washington state, 6-year-old Tricna Dawn Cloy.
The Washington Post reports that Cloy disappeared after attending a neighbor's birthday party with her mother and brother. Police suspected Maupin after learning that he had met the young girl and her mother at the party and had later walked them home.
Maupin had a significant criminal record at the time, including a conviction in 1977 for "indecency with a child."
Six months after her disappearance, Cloy's body was found in a gravel pit. Maupin was convicted of murder, kidnapping and rape, and sentenced to 40 years in prison. The conviction was overturned on appeal due to an error committed during the trial. A second trial had the exact same result -- conviction later overturned on appeal -- at which point Maupin was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree murder.
Maupin was handed a 12-year sentence with time served. He moved to Memphis, Tennessee, after being released in 1997.