Kelvin Arnold

Kelvin Arnold was identified on January 4, 2022, as the lead suspect in the June 7, 1995, rape and murder of 14-year-old Nacole Smith in Atlanta Georgia. She was on her way to school but she turned back to retrieve some forgotten homework. She cut through a wooded area near her home, where she was attacked. Her body was found later that day. She had been sexually assaulted, and then killed with two gunshots to her face.

Arnold is also identified as the lead suspect in the sexual assault of 13-year-old Betty Brown that took place in the East Point suburb of Atlanta on June 20, 2004. The forensic match between the two cases was made in 2004; Smith’s case had been reopened in 2002, and a DNA profile of the suspect was obtained at that time.

There is no information as to who conducted the FGG investigation. It has been reported that it was conducted by investigators at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. It was not reported how police made the final confirmation, only that they obtained Arnold’s DNA from an unrelated piece of evidence.

Arnold passed away in August of 2021 in a hospice in Fulton County of liver and kidney failure. He was 49 years old. He has not been linked through his DNA profile to any other rapes and murders, but police continue to investigate. A sketch had been made of the suspect by Brown, and he had been a person of interest but, as Patch reports, there was not then enough evidence to file charges.


Fox 5 Atlanta Digital Team. “Cold Case Rape, Murder of 14-Year-Old Atlanta Girl Solved with DNA, APD Says.” Fox 29 News Philadelphia, January 4, 2022. Accessed January 4, 2022.

Garner, Marcus. “26-Year-Old Atlanta Cold Case Murder, Rape, Solved Using Genealogy.” Patch, January 4, 2022. Accessed January 4, 2022.

Greer, Karyn, and Josh Morgan. “Suspect Named in 1995 Rape, Murder of 14-Year-Old Nacole Smith.” CBS News 46, January 4, 2022. Accessed January 4, 2022.

Kalmbacher, Colin. “‘So Many Unanswered Questions’: Victims and Family Members Get ‘Bittersweet’ News that 1995 Atlanta Rape and Murder Cold Case Ends with Suspect Dead.” Law & Crime, January 4, 2022. Accessed January 4, 2022.


First Name Kelvin
Last Name Arnold
Other Names
Victims 2 (Details)
IGG Started nd
Case Cleared 2022-01-04
IGG Org Georgia BI


Case ID Name Age Case Opened Location Investigating Org Most Serious Charge Disposition Court
1620 Nacole Smith 14 1995-06-07 Atlanta, GA Atlanta PD; Georgia BI Second degree murder Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a
1621 Betty Brown 13 2004-06-20 Atlanta, GA East Point PD; Georgia BI All sexual offenses, including rape, sexual assault, and child molestation Case was cleared by exception due to death of perpetrator n/a

Last updated: February 9, 2024

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Case data and narrative licensed under CC BY 4.0: Dowdeswell, Tracey (2023), “Forensic Genetic Genealogy Project v. 2022”, Mendeley Data, V1, doi: 10.17632/jcycgvhm96.1. All other content, including photos, have been added.