HOQUIAM, Wash. - Detectives with the Hoquiam Police Department are looking for more victims after a 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of child rape.
Police said they were contacted June 30 by the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office after a 12-year-old girl was dropped off in Stevenson, a part of western Washington near the Oregon border.
Officials said the 12-year-old girl was reported as a runaway juvenile from Hoquiam.
According to police, the girl told deputies she had been kidnapped from Hoquiam and was sexually assaulted by a man she met on social media.
In their investigation, detectives learned the 12-year-old girl left Hoquiam on a bus with a 13-year-old runaway girl originally from Lakewood.
Since their bus ride was in the evening, the girls only made it to McCleary.
Police said the girls spent the night in the McCleary home of the Lakewood girl’s former foster parents before they took a bus to Lakewood the next day.
Once in Lakewood, police said the girls then used social media to try to get a ride.
Officers said they were referred to a 21-year-old Lakewood man on Facebook Messenger who referred to himself as “Gucci.”
“Once he drove up in his brown mid-90’s Toyota Camry, the 13-year old decided not to leave with the man, so the 12-year old was left alone. The male apparently drove the 12-year old girl to a local park and sexually assaulted her inside the vehicle,” a spokesperson for the Police Department wrote in a Facebook post.
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Police said after the assault, the man drove the 12-year-old girl to Grays Harbor, West of Olympia.
In Grays Harbor, police said he burglarized and spent the night in the same McCleary home in which the girls had stayed the night prior.
Police said the 12-year-old girl was then sexually assaulted again.
Officers said the man stole large electronics, computers and three firearms from the home. Detectives said evidence showed he “basically stuffed as many items into his car as it could hold.”
Police said the man and the 12-year-old girl left the home early the next morning to not be noticed by neighbors.
The man drove the girl to various locations in southwest Washington and into Oregon before crossing a bridge into Skamania County, according to police.
Later that evening, police said the man abandoned the 12-year-old girl at a closed coffee stand and drove to a nearby location, where he picked up a 16-year-old girl who was reported as a runaway.
Detectives with the Hoquiam Police Department worked with the McCleary Police Department and the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office to identify the man.
Hoquiam police detectives then went to the burglarized home, and Skamania County deputies released a law enforcement bulletin to try to locate the man and the 16-year-old girl.
Police identified the man as Jeremiah D. Shallow, 21, and said he had no permanent address, but was last known to reside in the Lakewood area.
Skamania County deputies learned the 16-year-old girl had called on July 3 to report she had been sexually assaulted by Shallow.
Detectives secured a Grays Harbor County felony arrest warrant, and Pierce County deputies arrested Shallow, police said.
Shallow was transferred to the Hoquiam City Jail, where he was interviewed by detectives.
Police said Shallow was later booked in the Grays Harbor Jail on suspicion of child rape, kidnapping, first-degree burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Shallow remains in jail in lieu of a $350,000 bail.
“As the investigation has progressed, detectives believe there are likely other juvenile victims in Washington and possibly northern Oregon,” Hoquiam police said.
After reviewing phone records, detectives said it appears Shallow “actively targeted troubled, underage vulnerable girls via social media and text message communication.”
Police are encouraging anyone who has been a victim of Shallow to call their local law enforcement agency.
Anyone with information on the investigation is asked to call Hoquiam Police Department Detective Sgt. Jenny Mitchell at (360) 532-0892, ext. 287, or email Det. Sgt. Mitchell at email@example.com.
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