Man arrested in 2008 kidnap, rape of Mendocino County girl
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 8:07 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 at 8:07 a.m.
A fugitive who escaped arrest for the suspected kidnapping and rape of a 14-year-old Mendocino County girl four years ago was arrested this week after Mexican authorities extradited him to the United States, the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office said.
Julio Rangel Ceja, 22, was being held in a Mexican jail more than a year ago when a tipster told Mendocino County authorities he was there, sheriff's officials said.
But it took assistance from the U.S. Marshal's Office and the U.S. Attorney's Office earlier this year to verify his presence in Mexico and then to prepare documents that led to his extradition, county authorities said.
Ceja and a second man who remains at large, Jose Lopez Garibay, 33, were named early on as suspects in the July 25, 2008, suspected kidnap and rape of the Philo teen.
The girl told authorities she accepted a ride with them from a social gathering in Boonville to another gathering. Instead, she was driven to a secluded spot near Hendy Woods State Park where she was sexually and physically assaulted, and then to another location, where she was assaulted again and threatened with death, the sheriff's office said.
The girl told authorities she used a broken beer bottle to fend off a man she identified as Garibay, and escaped.
Authorities said they believe Garibay would have facial and abdominal scarring from the deep lacerations she reportedly inflicted.
"Our best guess is that he also fled the United States," sheriff's Lt. Greg Van Patten said.
Both men appeared on the sheriff's Most Wanted list for years.
Van Patten said investigators believed Ceja was in Mexico but had been unable to verify it until July 21, 2011, when the sheriff's office received a tip from someone who had seen him on the TV show "America's Most Wanted" and recognized him as a man held in a Mexican jail on local charges, authorities said.
Ceja was extradited Sept. 27 and moved from the Bay Area to the Ukiah jail on Monday. He is being held without bail, authorities said.
You can reach Staff WriterMary Callahan at 521-5249 or email@example.com.
All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.