UPD Progresses In Rape Investigation

Citing the assistance of a dozen local agencies and the support of the Humboldt State-Arcata community, University Police Department (UPD) Interim Chief of Police Tom Dewey reported today that progress is continuing to be made in the investigation of a rape by a stranger which reportedly happened near the HSU library Tuesday, April 4, 2006 in the evening.

“In the past week, we have received important preliminary evidence reports from the Department of Justice Crime Lab, over 20 individuals have called or emailed our department with information, and we have spoken with nearly 100 people in relation to this investigation”, said Dewey. “With each step, it now appears this was a random act, a predatory rape that was perpetrated by a non-student. He may have been on our campus for the first time.”

UPD investigators have been chasing down off-campus and on-campus leads around the clock. They’ve been relying on help from Arcata, Eureka, and Trinidad Police Departments, and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department. Consultations with other agencies including County Probation, State Parole, and Pelican Bay State Prison have produced information which officials hope will help UPD eventually zero in on a specific suspect. Working together, officers from APD and UPD have spent approximately 150 hours trying to solve this case.

“This is an incredible amount of time to spend on a case in this short a time span,” said Dewey. “It’s equivalent to nearly four full-time investigators. We’re working it very hard.”

However, this is not an easy case to solve. The attacker wore a mask, gloves and there were few witnesses.

“It’s a very difficult case,” explained Dewey. “But, progress is being made and it’s important to let the community know this.”

The right tip from the public would help the identification of the suspect happen more quickly, possibly preventing another attack.

“Someone on the North Coast has a suspicion about who this rapist is. We urgently need that missing puzzle piece from the public,” said Dewey. “There is a person out there who knows this guy, the ski mask, the neoprene gloves, and the violent behavior. Calling or emailing UPD with that information will go a long way towards quickly solving this case and protecting the public.”

UPD is also continuing to ask anyone who may have seen something unusual at the west end of Laurel Dr, near the top of the staircase to LK Wood Blvd on that evening, to contact UPD at 826-5555, or by email at HSUPD@humboldt.edu. The rape is believed to have taken place at that location at about 7:30 PM in the victim’s silver Saturn 4-door sedan.

The suspect description in this case has been updated as follows:

  • White male adult, 30-35 years of age
  • Approx 6” tall, slender build
  • Ski mask, grey neoprene gloves, knife
  • Red and black jacket