Two-Hour ‘20/20’ Documentary Unravels the Complex Mystery Behind the Attack and Rape of Woman Staying in Miami Hotel
TWO-HOUR ‘20/20’ DOCUMENTARY UNRAVELS THE COMPLEX MYSTERY BEHIND THE ATTACK AND RAPE OF WOMAN STAYING IN MIAMI HOTEL
‘20/20’ Features Private Investigator Who Pieces Together Clues Using Hotel Surveillance Cameras and Tracks Down DNA Match
‘20/20’ Airs on Friday, April 5 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on ABC
In the early hours of February 21, 2005, a utility worker found 21-year-old Inna Budnytska unconscious, naked, beaten and near death, abandoned in an undeveloped Miami cul-de-sac. Budnytska, a guest in a nearby airport hotel, had no memory of her attack and rape. Authorities looked at the hotel’s surveillance footage for potential answers, but found puzzling information. The cameras recorded her walking into the lobby at 3:40 a.m. and then never captured her again. In a two-hour documentary, “20/20” reports on the mysterious case and features private investigator Ken Brennan, who meticulously gathered and pieced together clues, discovering how Budnytska left the hotel and tracking down the man whose DNA matched her attacker. “20/20” airs on Friday, April 5 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), on ABC.
“20/20” has a new interview with Mark Bowden, who first reported the story of Budnytska in Vanity Fair and interviews with Budnytska; Brennan; Alan Foote, former Miami-Dade police detective who worked on the case; George Perez, the night manager at the Airport Regency hotel the night the perpetrator attacked Budnytska; Peter Dimouleas, Inna’s current husband who was with her before the attack; Jose Vazquez, the Airport Regency’s vice president; and Tom Chase, Frederick, Maryland Police Sergeant who helped Brennan locate Budnytska’s attacker.
Brennan watched all of the hotel’s security footage to find any missing clues. He noticed that on the same day as Budnytska’s attack, a large man rolled a heavy suitcase out of the hotel in the early morning and returned about an hour later, without the suitcase. Brennan concluded that the man may have carried Budnytska out of the hotel in the suitcase and then dumped her body. Brennan eventually identified the man as Michael Jones, tracing him to Frederick, Maryland—over 1,000 miles away from the Miami hotel. Jones’ DNA matched that of the attacker, but authorities struggled to gather additional evidence. As a result, Jones took a plea for a reduced charge and received only two years in prison. Later, authorities ran Jones’ DNA through CODIS, the FBI’s national database, and his DNA matched two other cold rape cases: one in Colorado Springs and one in New Orleans. In 2009, a Colorado jury found Jones guilty of sexual assault and he received 24 years to life in prison. In New Orleans in 2015, Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of forcible rape and received 45 years in prison.
The special on the complex mystery behind the attack of Inna Budnytska is part of “20/20” two-hour documentary programming. The original eight-week, two-hour programming lineup has been extended to fifteen weeks and will run through April 12. Since the two-hour documentaries premiered on Jan. 4, “20/20” has been Friday’s No. 1 newsmagazine each week in all key demos: Total Viewers, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54.
“20/20” is anchored by David Muir and Amy Robach. David Sloan is senior executive producer