West Ashley rape suspect nabbed thanks in part to drawing

When police were on the hunt for an unidentified suspect who had raped and abducted a woman in West Ashley, they turned to a sketch artist to help with the investigation.

On Wednesday, authorities nabbed 21-year-old Marion Lamont Brown Jr. and investigators say it was an arrest that was made in part thanks to a sketch of the suspect.

Live 5 News spoke with SLED forensic artist Michael Lynch in 2009 to get an inside look at how a drawing can lead to an arrest.

Lynch sits down with victims and witnesses, trying to get them to remember every detail about the suspect.

"Nothing really high tech about it. It's just pencil and paper and erasers," Lynch says."A lot of times you talk to these folks and they've probably been through probably the worst experience of their life and so we want to get them settled in."

Lynch says it's a detailed process that can take up to two hours and requires patience from both him and the victim.

"They might start by describing the eyes or nose, a certain feature, because that's what sticks out to them. Most in their mind and we'll kind of build around that," says Lynch.

Lynch's talent was really put to the test after a home invasion murder in Beaufort County in 2008. After talking to witnesses, he drew composite sketches of two of the main suspects.

The drawings were distributed to the public and the results were quick.

"They were caught within a week or two if I'm not mistaken of the crime occurring," Lynch said.

Lynch says it's so important to get to the victim or witness early because he says the longer it takes to talk to them, the more they can forget about the suspect.

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