Detectives learn man accused of rape in Florida Keys died in Guatemala

This photo provided by the Monroe Sheriff's Office shows William Anechiarico who was accused of raping a woman in 1987 in the Florida Keys, deputies said. (MCSO)

DNA technology helped detectives to identify William Anechiarico, also known as Ralph, as the suspect of a 1987 rape in the Florida Keys.

After making the connection, detectives later learned Anechiarico, who was facing sexual battery and battery charges in Monroe County, died in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala last summer, deputies said.

Anechiarico, 64, was accused of attacking a woman, who was 36 years old at the time, while armed with a knife at a trailer park on Grassy Key, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.

The woman suffered cuts to her right hand. Deputies accused Anechiarico of using a cord to tie her hands and arms and of covering her head with a pillow.

More than three decades later, the victim received a call with an update on the case from detectives. She no longer lives in Grassy Key, deputies said.

“I am extremely grateful our major crimes unit detectives and our state and federal law enforcement partners were able to give the victim some closure in this awful case,” Sheriff Rick Ramsay said in a statement on Friday.

Monroe deputies worked with the U.S. Marshals Service and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to close the case.

Records show Anechiarico left Monroe County after he became a registered sex offender after a sexual battery in 1988.

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The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.