Posts Tagged ‘WA’

Daniel-Leija

Authorities have been searching for a child rapist who has been on the run for over ten years.

Daniel Leija, now 50, is a former school bus driver from Yakima County, who has had a warrant out for his arrest for first degree child rape in Sunnyside, WA between the years 1997-2002.

The two victims, also residents of Sunnyside, were both females under the age of fifteen during the five-year period in which the crime occurred.

In 2002, both females went to Sunnyside Police Department to report the rapes they endured over a five-year period. Police then uncovered trunks and backpacks filled with over 100 videotapes recording the assaults. Leija was arrested and charged with multiple counts of rape and exploitation of minors and was held on $250,00 bail. However, Yakima Superior Court Judge Heather Van Nuys reduced his bail to $60,000 and he was released after relatives came up with the lower amount.

He immediately fled the area after his bail-release and hasn’t been seen since.

According to U.S. Marshals, who eventually took over the case, Leija was last known to be in Mexico.

It is believed that he is living under a different identity and has most likely altered his appearance.

Back when his bail was reduced, Leija was facing 18 counts of first degree rape and molestation, eight counts of second degree rape and molestation, two counts of third degree rape and molestation, 12 counts of sexual exploitation and with jumping bail.

Taylor-Wylie is a woman who lived with Leija in Sunnyside prior to his arrant. She says all of the sexual assaults counts are for actions he took against her daughters over a five-year period. She said in 2002 her daughters complained about Leija’s sexual assaults.

Wylie contends that Leija has made return visits to Sunnyside to visit family. She said his family claims he has since drowned, which she calls a “blatant lie.

Wylie’s daughters are now young adults but according to her, the wounds are still open.

“We try to go on, but the girls, they’re still drastically affected by it,” Taylor-Wylie said. “Anger, fear, tears… they’re so fragile.”

Taylor-Wylie says she and her four daughters, who now live in Bremerton, want to see Leija brought to justice.

Daniel Leija was recently featured on America’s Most Wanted, with the latest airing on October 12, 2012.

Daniel_Leija

Sex: Male
Race: Hispanic
Age then: 40
Current Age: 50
Height/Weight: 5’7” tall 190 pounds
Hair (Color, Description, Facial Hair):
Black
Eyes: Brown
Last Seen:
Yakima County , Sunnyside WA
Last Known Locations:
Yakima County , Sunnyside WA (and possibly Mexico)

 

Outdated mugshot photo of Leija with no facial hair

If you have any information regarding this case you’re asked to please contact: U.S. Marshals by calling 509-654-5060

  • A female robber who has been dubbed “The barista bandit” has held up at least three coffee stands in Everett, Washington
  • Police describe her as being a Caucasian female in her 20s with blonde hair and several facial piercings.
  • Witnesses say she is between 5’2” and 5’4” tall.
  • The unidentified woman was last seen in a red pick-up truck with no canopy

Wanted: Police are looking for a woman who has been robbing coffee shops in Washington state.

Police are looking for a female who has been robbing coffee shops in Washington state.

Back for More: The suspect is believed to have stolen money from Stiletti Coffee, pictured, twice in two weeks.

The suspect is believed to have stolen money from Stiletti Coffee, pictured, twice in two weeks.

Police noticed similarities in the recent robberies, which included a November 20, 2012 robbery. Now they believe the same woman is responsible.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department at (425) 388-3377.

Click here for the full article written and published by Dailymail.co.uk

Woman raped and man beaten in horrific home invasion while 18-month-old child slept in the same house

  • Two attackers jumped on the father as he approached his apartment
  • They forced their way inside and assaulted both parents, beating the father and sexually assaulting the mother
  • The pair then ransacked there Burien, Washington home and fled the scene
  • Authorities are now searching for two unidentified African American men
  • For additional details, click the (source) link above
Frightening: The couple were accosted at their home in Burien, Washington, while a child slept in another room

Frightening: The couple were accosted at their home in Burien, Washington, while a child slept in another room

Rapid response: Police arrived at the scene shortly after the incident at 9pm last night and set tracking dogs on the scent

Rapid response: Police arrived at the scene shortly after the incident at 9pm last night and set tracking dogs on the scent

Article written and published by Dailymail.co.uk on 11/13/12

Nicole Westbrook, originally from Albuquerque, NM, was 21-years-old when she moved to Seattle, Washington at the end of March, 2012.

On April 20th, 2012, less then three weeks after moving to WA, she was murdered. She went to a club with her boyfriend and they left to walk home in the early morning hours of April 21st, around 2am. As they were walking near Second Avenue and Yesler Way in Pioneer Square, several shots were fired from a vehicle, believed to be a ‘white sedan’. One of the shot’s happen to strike Nicole in the neck.Two police officers heard the shots and arrived within seconds where they saw Nicole laying on the sidewalk with a bullet lodged into her neck. As her boyfriend was being questioned by police as to what happened, Nicole was being rushed to Harborview Medical Center where she was put on life-support and died a several days later.

Investigator’s believe it was a random act of violence.“The shooting, so far as we know, was random,” Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn said.

“There’s no honor in what this individual, or individuals, has done,” said Joyce Esquer, Westbrook’s aunt. She goes on to say: “And there’s no honor in silence. We believe that there are [family members] who know this person or have information about who shot Nicole. We ask you to come forward to share this information with the police.”

Candlelight vigil held for Pioneer Square shooting victim

Joyce Esquer at a Candle light vigil which took place on 2nd Avenue, where one of the shots
fired from a white sedan struck Westbrook in the neck.

“Somebody knows something about what happened that night. There are a number of pedestrians who were in the area who, for obvious reasons once they heard the gunshots, dove for cover. But they may know something, and likely may not have known the results of what happened that morning,” said Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz, who goes on to say:“And so, we are asking for folks who were in that area, particularly at 2 a.m. around 2nd and Yesler when those shots rang out, that you please let us know, please give us a call and let us know what you may have seen.”

Metz also delivered a message to the occupants in the vehicle where the gunshot originated: “Whether you fired the weapon or not, you are a potential accessory. And if you want to protect yourself, the best thing you can do is turn yourself in and talk to the detectives.”

As of September 20th, 2012 Nicole Westbrook’s case remains unsolved. Her face is not part of a billboard in Seattle. The billboard was created to break the stigma of ”being a snitch” and if you know something, you have a moral obligation to say something.

Authorities are urging anybody who might know anything to come forward. Your identity will be protected.

“There are other crimes in this city where there are people who knew who had the gun and knew who shot it,” said McGinn. “More than that, there are people in this town right now who know of somebody who has an illegal gun and may use it. They need to come forward, too. They need to help us out.” said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, in an appearance on 97.3 KIRO
FM’s Ross and Burbank Show
 back in April, 2012.

To view potential witnesses running after the gunshot’s were fired: Click here.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact: Seattle Law Enforcement at
610 5th Ave
Seattle, WA 98124
Neighborhood: Pioneer Square
(206) 625-5011

Seattles Billboards Ask ''Who Killed Me?''

Article originally written and published by KVUE on 09/18/12 – Clicking the photo will link you to the source.

Seattle, Washington — A media campaign was launched Tuesday in an effort to bring in tips in 17 unsolved murders that occurred in Seattle since January 2010.

[VIEW THE LIST OF UNSOLVED MURDERS]
Some of the victims’ families attended the unveiling. “I think it could work, but it’s also really hard as a family to see your child’s picture up.” said Monica Wood, mother of murder victim Franklin Wood. Billboards and bus ads picture murder victim’s faces and ask “Who Killed Me?”

“They know who they are and they need to come forward cause we are in pain,” said Anne Williams, the great aunt of victim Desmond Jackson.

The campaign aims to break the no snitching culture that has impeded some murder investigations.  “Don’t Stay Silent,” the billboards say.
“People have a moral obligation to come forward,” Deputy Chief Nick Metz told those gathered at the launch.

The billboards feature the images of victims Danny Vega, Nicole Westbrook, and Desmond Jackson. Desmond’s mother, Marlo Williams, tearfully begged the public, “If there’s anybody with information that can help solve Desmond’s case, please, please come forward.”

→ After watching part 1, click the video screen which will take you to part 2

Police say an eighth grader found dying on a roadway was a hit-and-run victim, but his parents believe he was murdered.

On June 4th, 1989, in Spokane, Washington, two friends on their way home were startled when their headlights revealed a body stretched out in the road. Thirteen year-old Russell Evans had apparently been struck by a car. He was barely alive, calling out for someone named Brian. Russell was admitted to Sacred Heart Hospital at 1:30 AM. Doctors struggled through the night to save his life as his parents stood by. The emergency team worked frantically, but by morning, Russell Evans was dead.

Russell was an active and popular 8th grader at Libby Middle School in Spokane. By the age of 13, he was already 6’3” tall. Aaron Abrhamson was one of his best friends:

“We did everything together. He was at my house every day and he was very well-liked. He had a good sense of humor. And he got along with pretty much everybody… he had no problems.”

On the night of June 3rd, in the hours before Russell died, he was with Aaron and other friends hanging out at a local park. It was a typical summer evening, until they were approached by two other teenagers. It escalated into an argument over Aaron’s girlfriend. Aaron said he was threatened and that Russell came to his defense:

“One of the teenagers said, ‘You’d better watch out, because maybe I’ll send my homeboys on you.’ But I didn’t really think much of it. So I just turned around and we left, and he got in his car with his friend and took off.”

After leaving the park, Russell spent the rest of the evening at a friend’s house. Then, at about 12:30 AM, he called his father to say that he was heading home.

Based on evidence found at the scene, police constructed a hit-and-run scenario. Spokane Police Lt. James Hill: ”On impact with the vehicle, he was separated from his shoes. He finally came to rest about seventy-five feet from where we think he was struck.”

Forensic pathologist George Lindholm concluded that Russell was likely struck in the back by a bumper. However, his father, John Evans, had a different opinion:

“We looked at him after he died and I thought he had been in a fight. Later on, when the police started talking about hit-and-run, his mom and I just couldn’t buy that. The injuries weren’t there.”

John and Sue Evans obtained copies of the official police report, complete with photographs. They noted that Russell’s shoes didn’t have their laces; they had been torn out. To Russell’s parents, it seemed like an important clue. The Evans’ returned to the scene of the accident with Sandy Ferris, the woman who had found Russell. Something didn’t feel right to Russell’s father:

“There was blood on the shoelace. Now tell me, how do you get blood on the shoelace if you’re struck and driven out of your shoes and thrown fifty feet down the hill?”

John and Sue became convinced that their son had been struck by something other than a hit-and-run driver, and they hired their own pathologist to investigate. While he did conclude that Russell had been hit by a car, the pathologist also told John that he found evidence of a struggle:

“This pathologist came back to us with the findings that Russell had been in a physical altercation prior to his death. If a body flies through the air, when that body hits the pavement, there would be some massive scraping. Russell did not have this.”

Based on their research, Russell’s father reconstructed his son’s final moments:

“I think it was a fight, going back up the hill. According to his hands, he got his licks in. He had finger bruises on his face and the side of the nose. Finger bruising on his upper arms, as though he were being held.”

Due to the allegations, the boys involved in the altercation with Russell and Aaron were given polygraph tests. They all passed.

Sandy Ferris, the woman who found Russell at the scene, claimed Russell was calling out to someone for help that night:

“When I first got there, the first thing I asked him was what happened. And he started calling for Brian. He said it more like the person was in listening in the distance, that his friend should have been there. After the police had gotten there, and they had started to put Russell in the ambulance, we saw a boy in white shorts up in the bushes and he was running up the hill. I tried to tell the policeman this a couple of times, but he kept telling me to get on the sidewalk. I thought maybe that could have been Brian.”

John Evans knew a friend of Russell’s named Brian and asked him if he knew anything:

“I asked Brian what he was wearing that night, and he said ‘Well, I was wearing white shorts and white t-shirt. But I was nowhere around.’ Then, later down the line, when the police questioned him, he denied owning that kind of outfit.”

Police speculate that the man Sandy saw running off was simply a curious citizen that heard the commotion and went out to take a look. But when Sue Evans arrived at the hospital that night, someone named Brian had just called the emergency ward to ask about Russell. She finds this more than suspicious:

“Who would have known about this? Unless somebody named Brian was at that scene, who he was calling for.”

Russell’s father John remains suspicious about the events of that night:

“There may be one or two people that know more than they’re telling, and the reason they’re probably not telling is that they are afraid for their lives.”

Evidence from the scene fully convinced Russell’s parents that he had been attacked and murdered, while police still believe Russell was the victim of a hit-and-run. However, officially, the case remains unsolved.