Hoquiam, WA – The Hoquiam Police Department is asking residents to report any possible victims of a child rapist.
Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers tells KXRO that officers were contacted by the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, June 30 after they found a 12-year-old girl in Stevenson who had been reported as a runaway from Hoquiam.
HPD says that the girl told deputies she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man she had met over social media.
During the investigation, Myers says that detectives learned the 12-year old had left Hoquiam on a bus with a 13-year-old runaway girl from Lakewood, spending the night in McCleary before traveling to Lakewood by bus the following day. The girls reportedly had been contacting people on social media to get a ride, meeting a 21-year-old Lakewood man who referred to himself as “Gucci” willing to give them a ride. The 13-year-old stayed in Lakewood, but the Hoquiam girl left with the man in his brown mid-90’s Toyota Camry, where they allegedly drove to a local park where the girl was sexually assaulted inside the vehicle.
HPD says that following the assault, both the suspect and girl drove to the same McCleary home where the girls had been the night before, where the victim was again sexually assaulted.
While in McCleary, “Gucci” reportedly burglarized the home , taking large electronics, computers, personal effects and three firearms.
“Detectives noted the evidence indicated the suspect had basically stuffed as many items into his car as it could hold.”
HPD says that it appears the suspect then drove the victim to various locations around southwest Washington and into Oregon before crossing the Bridge of the Gods into Skamania County where the man abandoned the 12-year-old at a closed coffee stand and drove a nearby location where he allegedly picked up a 16-year-old girl who was also reported as a runaway.
Hoquiam detectives worked with the McCleary Police Department and the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office to identify the 21-year-old suspect as Jeremiah D. Shallow.
The report states that Skamania County police learned the 16-year-old girl called from a location in Pierce County on July 3rd reporting she had also been sexually assaulted by the suspect.
Shallow was arrested on a felony warrant and transferred to the Hoquiam before being booked in the Grays Harbor County Jail for several felony offenses, including rape of a child, kidnapping, first degree burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm.
He is being held on $350,000 bail; Skamania County has also issued a felony arrest warrant.
The 12-year old victim is currently hospitalized for treatment.
In the days since the arrest, Detectives have been able to recover some of the property stolen in the burglary, including two of the firearms.
HPD states that they believe there are likely other juvenile victims in Washington and possibly northern Oregon, and detectives say that it appears the suspect actively targeted troubled, underage vulnerable girls via social media and text message communication.
“As many sexual assaults are never reported, it is critical to empower victims to report these abuses to law enforcement for criminal investigation. If there are additional victims, they are encouraged to call their local law enforcement agency where the offense occurred.”
Detectives have been in contact with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force for assistance if this case continues to progress across multiple counties or states.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation should call HPD Detective Sergeant Jeremy Mitchell at (360) 532-0892 extension 287; or email Det. Sgt. Mitchell at [email protected].