Crime

After a 21-year search, Benton County finds suspects in child rape case

Benton County detectives began searching more than 20 years ago for two suspects involved in an alleged rape of a child. That two-decade hunt is now over.

This week, Benton County officials announced that detectives have tracked the two people in that 1998 cold case all the way to the other side of the country, in Connecticut. Their names and other details of the case have not yet been released.

Detectives investigated the case in 1998, but the suspects left the area before they could be apprehended. Authorities hadn’t been able to find them until recently.

“Due to diligent efforts of the detectives who originally investigated the case, arrest warrants were issued, and (the case) has remained open,” said a post on the sheriff’s office Facebook page.

They found one of the people living in Connecticut. As they worked with authorities there, they learned the other person was in that state as well. Both are currently in jail. Benton County is working on extraditing them back to Benton County to face charges in Washington.

A sheriff’s office spokesman was not authorized to give further details Saturday morning.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.

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