By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – Police Chief James Wilkewicz announced the arraignment of a suspect in the 2015 Anne Street rape case — which received widespread social media attention — at the Sept. 13 City Council meeting.
“I am happy to report that this predator is now off the street and he will never see the light of day again,” Wilkewicz said.
He said the suspect, Ikeie Smith of Redford Township, who faced multiple counts of serial rape and home invasion across the region, came to their attention in the spring of 2015 with the Anne Street case.
“As the summer progressed, and more information became available from some of our neighboring jurisdictions, a task force was formed from federal, state and local assets brought in,” Wilkewicz said. “We had everything from the FBI’s behavioral analysis unit come in and help us out, state police assets, and investigators from all the jurisdictions where we could tie this individual to working on a daily basis to try to identify him.”
He said the city of Dearborn was instrumental in helping to organize the task force.
“Eventually through DNA we did tie him to seven sexual assaults of women in their homes throughout the area, including the one on Anne Street here in Allen Park,” Wilkewicz said.
He said the break in the case came with a Livonia homeowner, who was not a victim, noticed a gate ajar in her yard and checked her home surveillance system.
“She saw this guy lurking around the outside of her home,” Wilkewicz said. “So that was broadcast on the news, and through Crime Stoppers the task force received a tip, and the tip matched the description and everything about this guy.”
He said the suspect, who has been arraigned in several communities, is being held without bond, and cases are still being developed in other communities.
He said Allen Park also submitted a warrant arrest for a 2011 home invasion with no sexual assault. The Sept. 13 arraignment by video through the 24th District Court was for the spring of 2015 case on Anne Street.
“We believe he is done and will not see the outside of a prison for the rest of his life,” Wilkewicz said.
Mayor Pro Tem Gail McLeod thanked Wilkewicz for the update and the report on the many groups that worked on the case.
“When things like this happen, it’s good to know it’s not just your force that becomes involved, but you reach out to other entities,” she said. “It’s a team effort. We are very appreciative of that.”
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)