CLINTON, Mich. – A man who walked into a woman’s Lenawee County home to rape and rob her at knifepoint has finally been identified by DNA and charged exactly 30 years later.
Ricky Nelson Bixler, 63, of Bowling Green, Ohio, is facing charges stemming from a 1992 incident, according to a Thursday (Feb. 2, 2023) release from the Clinton Police Department.
1992 sexual assault case
A Clinton woman in her mid-20s was home alone caring for several young children on Nov. 28, 1992, when Bixler entered her home with a knife, according to authorities.
Bixler demanded money from the woman, police said. After taking her money, Bixler sexually assaulted the woman and fled on foot, officials said.
DNA solves cold case
When officers from the Clinton Police Department originally investigated the incident, a sexual assault kit was used to collect DNA evidence.
Police couldn’t identify a match for the DNA, and the case went cold for nearly three decades.
In March 2022, Clinton officials worked with Michigan State Police to resubmit and re-examine the kit, and the DNA was a match with Bixler.
At the time, Bixler was already locked up in the Ohio Department of Corrections, serving a sentence that began in 1994.
His criminal history includes felony convictions in Kansas and Ohio for kidnapping, robbery, and sexual assault.
Officials said the Ohio conviction stemmed from a Nov. 5, 1992, robbery and sexual assault in Leipsic. That case went unsolved until 2001, when a DNA match identified Bixler as the person responsible, according to police.
Bixler charged in Michigan
On Nov. 28, 2022, the Lenawee County Prosecutor’s Office charged Bixler with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, armed robbery, and breaking and entering.
The charges came exactly 30 years to the date of the Clinton incident. If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Bixler is being held at the Lenawee County Jail.