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Gallup woman kidnapped, raped at gunpoint

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Suspect remains at large

Local law enforcement officials are looking for a tall, heavy-set man in his forties in connection with a sexual assault that occurred Feb. 9, north of Gallup.

According to a report from the Gallup Police Department, the victim was leaving the Octavia Fellin Public Library at about 8:15 pm when a man approached her and asked for a ride. She told police she ignored the man but when she opened her door he pushed an object against the right side of her back and told her not to scream.

The assailant then allegedly pushed her into the passenger side seat and pointed a handgun at her, telling her to give him her phone. She described the weapon as a silver handgun with a black handle.

Once he had her phone, the man drove north to the T&R Market, where the man told her to get out of the car and began asking her questions about her name and her family. He also told her “everything would be ok.”

She said he then raped her. Later the victim estimated that the assault lasted about five minutes.

After the assault, she said the man threw the phone at her and began walking north on U.S. Highway 491, towards Tohatchi. Before walking away, he told her not to scream or he would kill her.

The victim then got into her car and drove to her mother’s house to call police since her phone had lost batter power.

When she finally reached police, the woman estimated about 30 minutes had passed since she saw the man begin his walk.  The McKinley County Sheriff’s Office was contacted and conducted a search along Highway 491 but could not find the suspect.

Sheriff Deputy James Garylle said he started out looking for the suspect, as described by the victim, along Highway 491 about 3:30 am the next morning.

He stopped in at the Shell Station at Tohlakai and asked the clerk if she had seen a Hispanic male in his 40s, heavy set, wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, white shoes and a black beanie come in during the past two hours.

The clerk said she saw no one matching that description. Garylle then came back south and went west on State Highway 264 in case the suspect went that way.

As he was going past the Sagebrush Inn, he said he was informed that the assault took place on the Francisco Pond Road just after the bridge so he proceeded there.

When he got to the baseball park off of Francisco Pond Road, he found some fresh tire tracks coming from the east and found where it parked near the baseball dugout. He said he also found some fresh shoe tracks leading up to the vehicle.

The victim said the man appeared to be intoxicated. She said once in her car he put on a ski mask, adding that she did not know him.

When police arrived to take her statement, the victim declined medical assistance, telling officers that her mother would take her to the hospital.

The victim reported being bitten on the neck by the man, and officers observed red marks on the side of her neck at the scene. The woman also had pain in both her biceps and on her knees. Officers observed abrasion marks on her knees but said they could find no marks on her biceps, according to the police report.

The victim told police she did not hit or scratch the suspect.

As of Feb. 13, police reported having no suspects in the case.