A 14-year-old boy who is suspected of luring a 7-year-old neighbor girl into the woods and then raping and beating her is expected to make his first appearance Friday in Pierce County juvenile court.
The teen was arrested early Thursday after the victim gave police enough information about her attacker to secure a search warrant and arrest him, Puyallup police said.
Police said they had contact with the boy last week after he had been the victim of an assault. Details of that incident were not immediately known, but Puyallup Police Chief Bryan Jeter said it was characterized to him as an “altercation.”
Jeter said police are investigating the case and did not know if he’d had other contacts with police.
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According to Capt. Dalan Brokaw, the victim was playing outside with other children at an apartment community in Puyallup on Wednesday evening when the teen is alleged to have lured her into the nearby woods with “some story about finding an injured animal in the woods.”
Family, friends and some residents in the Glenbrooke apartment community searched for the girl for about two hours before police were called at 8 p.m., police said.
Officers expanded the search beyond the complex into the adjoining wooded areas, and a police dog and its handler were called in, police said.
After a citizen found the girl’s tennis shoe on a trail, the bloodhound from the Normandy Park Police Department was able to follow the scent and lead searchers into the woods to the girl sometime after midnight, police said.
“We’re very lucky that the dog was available to us,” Jeter said
The girl’s injuries were not immediately life-threatening, but she suffered a severe neck injury from being choked, was incapacitated and unable to walk, police said.
She had to be carried out of the woods by officers, police said.
The girl was taken to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma in serious condition, police said.
“It’s a shame. I know her family kind of well. They’re all good people,” neighbor Tracy Raines told Seattle Times news partner KING 5.
The teen is expected to face a probable-cause hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to hold him Friday and arraign him Monday, said Kevin Benton, chief Deputy of the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Juvenile Division.
Christine Clarridge: 206-464-8983 or firstname.lastname@example.org