DNA leads to charges in May '17 rape and robbery of 89-year-old Clay Co woman

March 20, 2018 - 12:41 pm

Liberty, MO - Charges have been filed in Clay County against an incarcerated felon for the rape and robbery of a then 89-year-old Smithville woman in May of 2017.

The Clay County prosecutor charged Michael E. Whitford, 57, with rape in the first degree, sodomy in the first degree, burglary in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, and four counts of armed criminal action.

Bond was set at $500,000.  However, Whitford is currently in a maximum security prison in Fulton, Missouri, serving time for assault, robbery and tampering.

According to court records, the victim told deputies her attacker had entered her house and threatened her with a knife, telling her he was there for sex and to rob her.

Evidence, including DNA, collected from the attack provided a link to Whitford, according to county prosecutor Daniel White.

Because of prior felony convictions, Whitford faces multiple life sentences if convicted.

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