King County prosecutors announced Friday that a convicted sex offender currently in custody has been charged with the rape and slaying of a Redmond woman.
After moving from her native India, Arpana Jinaga was quick to jump into American culture, say those who knew her. On her first Halloween in Redmond, she played the role of party hostess by opening up her apartment to friends, neighbors and strangers.
On Oct. 31, 2008, the 24-year-old software programmer hosted more than two dozen people who rotated between her apartment and three others, said Redmond police Detective Brian Coats.
Among the people she met that night was a man who, unbeknown to her, was a violent sex offender, Coats said.
Hours later, the same man broke down Jinaga’s door, gagged and raped her, and then strangled her, Coats said. The man then poured motor oil he found inside her home and caustic chemicals on her body in an apparent effort to conceal evidence, police said.
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On Friday, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced that Emanuel Fair, who also goes by the name Anthony P. Parker, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Jinaga’s 2-year-old slaying.
Fair, 27, has been at McNeil Island Correction Center for more than a year, serving time after a third conviction for failing to register as a sex offender. Officials say his earliest release date is February 2012.
Fair served just under three years in prison for having sex with an underage girl in 2003 and 2004. He pleaded guilty to charges of third-degree child rape, a reduced charge, in 2005 after the 15-year-old victim refused to testify, King County prosecutors said.
Fair also has prior convictions for second-degree robbery, unlawful firearms possession and drug possession, according to King County Superior Court records.
Jinaga, a native of India, had moved to Redmond in April 2008 after being hired by EMC Corporation as a software quality-assurance engineer.
Two days after she was killed, Jinaga’s father, who lives in India, called an acquaintance in the Seattle area to report he hadn’t heard from his daughter. The acquaintance and one of Jinaga’s neighbors went to her apartment and found her body.
Detectives started looking at several people who had been at her home during the party.
Within three weeks, Fair’s name catapulted to the top of the list of potential suspects because of his criminal history, Coats said on Friday. Fair told detectives he visited a friend who lived at the Redmond apartment complex and that he attended the Halloween parties there.
Fair said he met Jinaga that night and visited her home, where he ate pizza and she showed him photos on a computer in her bedroom, charging paperwork said. Fair told investigators that Jinaga had left before he returned to his friend’s home around 2 a.m., charging papers said.
Police collected hundreds of items to test for possible DNA and found Fair’s DNA on Jinaga’s burned bathrobe, a piece of tape that had been used to gag her and on the woman’s neck, Satterberg said Friday during a news conference.
“The killer had been savagely brutal,” Satterberg said. He said Fair used “extreme caution” while trying to conceal the crime.
“The defendant opened the locked door to Jinaga’s apartment, attacked her, stripped off her clothing, gagged her, assaulted her and finally strangled her to death,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Baird said in charging paperwork.
Prosecutors said that because Fair was in prison, they were able to focus on testing evidence and building their case without fear he would disappear before they could bring charges.
Satterberg said his office will be pushing for an exceptional sentence that will result in Fair spending the rest of his life in prison. He does not face a life sentence under the “three strikes” law because not all of the earlier charges qualify, prosecutors said.
Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or firstname.lastname@example.org