Man arrested in North Bend rape cleared by DNA

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

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NORTH BEND, Wash. - Snoqualmie police detectives thought they had their man.

They arrested a suspect in the rape and stabbing of a woman at her job.

But today, just as he was set to make his first court appearance, detectives realized he didn't do it.

The woman was attacked March 9 at Jay Berry's Pizza on Mount Si Boulevard.

The Snoqualmie Police Department is again searching for the man who did this.

"He complied with going with in with us into custody," said Capt. Nick Almquist.

Police arrested a 41-year-old North Bend man on Tuesday.

Ten minutes after our first interview with Almquist, he got a call.

A bombshell in the case.

"The real suspect is out there," said Almquist.

DNA of the man in custody was submitted to the state crime lab on a rush order- and just came back negative.

"A huge surprise that that is the result of the DNA evidence," said Almquist.

Especially given the victim named her attacker by first name.

Police say she told them he was a Hispanic man who worked with her at the same pizza joint about 14 years ago.

And that they just had a run-in at a bar the week prior to her attack.

On March 9, the victim was leaving work when a man pushed her back inside, raped her, tied her feet and hands with duct tape then stabbed her in the chest.

Detectives will now send in DNA samples from 10 past and current employees at the pizza shop.

KIRO 7 broke the news to residents and employees at nearby Hair Masters.

Lorie Wise had just heard of the arrest.

"You feel relieved when they think they've caught the person but when you hear otherwise then you're still living with the unknown," Wise said.

The man who spent the night in jail will be released and will not face charges.

Detectives will now go back and re-interview the alleged victim in this case.

We will check back in with police to see what they find.