CRIME

Northwest Trail Branch rape: Arrest made Friday morning

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(WJLA) - There is relief Friday night for those who use or live near the Northwest Branch Trail in Silver Spring.

Joaquin Orellana Torres. Photo: Montgomery County Poice
Sketch released of suspect in the Northwest Trail sexual assault.

"It's comforting to know the person has been apprehended, for both us and the person who was attacked," says neighbor Kari Struemph.

Since Monday, police have been looking for the man portrayed in this sketch. Investigators say that around 4:15 p.m. in the afternoon, he grabbed a woman in her twenties who was jogging along the trail.

"She stated she had been apprehended by a suspect with a knife. He dragged her off the trail, raped her, and then fled," describes Capt. Paul Starks with Montgomery County Police.

Neighbors in the nearby Oakview subdivision say they saw officers handcuffing a man near the trail’s entrance at about 9 a.m. Friday morning, and that he appeared to resemble the suspect sketch released by police.

"I hope they got the right guy, and I hope it's over with...it's creepy, it's a quiet neighborhood," says neighbor Martha Voorhees.

Residents also say they saw police carrying bags of evidence during a search that lasted several hours. The trail itself is rugged and heavily wooded – an easy place for an attack.

People in the area say they are glad that police have made an arrest. And for many, there is a new sense of caution.

"It's surprising something like that happens in the daytime...but anything can happen, so you always have to be careful," says Struemph.

The suspect has not yet been identified, but Montgomery County Police confirm that he is in custody and currently faces a first-degree rape charge.

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