Yakima man in custody for accused kidnapping, molestation of a 6-year-old girl

Yakima Police
Credit: Emily Goodell, KAPP-KVEW

YAKIMA, Wash. — An investigation into the kidnapping and sudden reappearance of a 6-year-old girl in Yakima led to the arrest of a suspect accused of molesting his young victim.

On Wednesday, April 6 around 7:00 p.m., Yakima police officers responded to a report of a young girl who was missing on the 700-block of N 3rd St. The girl’s mother told police investigators that she last saw her daughter around 3:00 p.m. that day, and had spent several hours looking for her before reporting it to law enforcement.

Roughly 45 minutes later, a Yakima Police Department patrol sergeant found her walking around the 900-block of N 4th St. During his conversation with the little girl, it became apparent that she may have been kidnapped and violated by a stranger.

The young girl was transported to Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital to be examined while detectives from the YPD Special Assault Unit took over the investigation.

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Evidence was transferred to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab in Vancouver, WA with urgent requests for examination. In the meantime, YPD investigators conferred with neighbors and scoured security footage to gain leads. That effort extended into the next few days until detectives observed a car driving erratically near the crime scene on surveillance footage.

They traced that vehicle back to a suspect who lives on the 1200-block of S 9th Ave in Yakima. Concurrently, the crime lab positively linked DNA samples from the evidence that was submitted to develop probable cause for an arrest.

While returning to their home, the suspect was arrested and brought into custody. This arrest was made in a joint effort between several YPD Divisions and federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

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“The persistence of YPD Special Assault Unit detectives and the quick response by the Washington State Patrol Criminal Laboratory led to an arrest quickly being made in this case,” YPD Captain Jay Seely said.  “This case was our top priority, and as indicated by the overwhelming response from our local, state and federal partners, anytime someone harms a child we will devote every resource available to find them and bring them to justice.”

The suspect, who is accused of kidnapping and molesting the six-year-old girl, is set to appear in Yakima County Superior Court for a preliminary hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 14. This person’s identity is being withheld until that court appearance.

This is a breaking news story. An update and/or follow-up will be issued when further details are revealed.

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