Regional News

Kidnapped Woman Taken From Seattle To Klamath Falls, FBI Seeks More Victims

PORTLAND, OR -- A Seattle woman says she was taken seven hours to Klamath Falls last month by a man now facing federal kidnapping charges, and the FBI believes there may be more victims.

Federal investigators say the suspect solicited a prostitute in Seattle on July 15. He then told her he was a police officer and forced her into his car, legs and arms bound. They believe she was sexually assaulted during the 450-mile drive to his southern Oregon house. 

At a Portland press conference Wednesday, Klamath Falls Police Captain Rob Reynolds said the victim was locked in a cinder block cell inside the man’s garage, "He had actually locked her in there for a couple of hours, at least, until she realized that she needed to get out of that residence because her life was in danger. She took some substantial steps to force her way out of that cell, and then she ran out into the public and flagged down the first vehicle she could find." He praised her bravery and will to survive for getting her through a steel screen door, "She punched it several times to break the welds, ripped the screen down and she crawled through a small space to get out of that place, because she knew something bad was going to happen to her."

With bloody hands, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Portland Field Office Stephanie Shark said the woman flagged down a passing car and was able to contact authorities, "When police responded to a 911 call in Klamath Falls, Oregon on July 15, they discovered a makeshift cinder block cell with a metal door and a singular lightbulb above for light, in a residential garage, and a woman who bravely escaped her terrifying circumstances." The following day, authorities tracked the suspect to a Reno, Nevada Walmart parking lot, where he was arrested after a brief standoff involving his wife and child. 

Shark worries the entire case points to an escalation of violence by the suspect, who is now believed connected to at least three other sexual assaults outside of Oregon, "The more we look into this case, the more we become concerned, as law enforcement, that there may be more that we’re missing. That’s why, right now, we’re still in the infancy stages of the investigation."

According to Shark, "29-year-old Negasi Zuberi is also known by several aliases. One is Sakima, another is Justin Hyche, and another is Justin Kouassi." Since his arrest, she says investigators have been digging into his past, discovering that since August of 2016 he's lived in Washington, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, Alabama and Florida, and had only lived in Oregon for a few months. 

If you believe you have been a victim or have any information concerning Zuberi visit the website: fbi.gov/SakimaVictims or call 1-800-CALL-FBI. You can also contact the FBI Portland Field Office at (503) 224-4181, your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

 

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