A Willits man remained in custody Tuesday, suspected of shutting off power to a woman’s home before breaking in through a window and raping her.
Marcus L. Caldwell, 27, was arrested Friday, more than nine months after the attack, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said.
Lt. Shannon Barney said Tuesday DNA test results obtained last week linked Caldwell to the rape of the 30-year-old Willits woman. She called authorities at about 6:45 a.m. Jan. 21, saying a man had appeared in her home and raped her. It was dark in the room but she suspected her attacker was Caldwell — an acquaintance, Barney said.
Detectives interviewed Caldwell, who denied being involved but volunteered a DNA sample.
The DNA and rape evidence was sent last winter to a Northern California Department of Justice lab for analysis. Detectives didn’t receive the results until Oct. 24 because of a backlog, Barney said.
“They are just overwhelmed with cases,” he said of the lab. “It’s frustrating for victims to wait.”
With the lab results, the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office issued an arrest warrant. Detectives picked up Caldwell at his Anderson Valley construction job Friday.
Caldwell, who was ordered not to contact the woman, was arraigned Tuesday on the felony rape charge. Bail was set at $500,000.
You can reach Staff Writer Randi Rossmann at 707‑521-5412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter@rossmannreport.