Alleged abductor of Freeland woman, child may have assaulted victim
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
March 20, 2012 · Updated 2:49 PM
A 22-year-old man who allegedly abducted a woman and her child Friday from a home near Freeland is also accused of raping the woman and threatening to kill the victims by driving his car off Deception Pass Bridge or the Coupeville Wharf, according to a deputy’s report on the incident.
George Downey, a Greenbank resident, is being held in Island County jail on $750,000 bail. A judge found probable cause to hold him on suspicion of two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree burglary, one count of felony violation of domestic violence protection orders, reckless endangerment and malicious mischief.
About an hour after the abduction, deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office pulled over Downey’s Jeep on Highway 20 near Coupeville, saving the woman and 4-year-old boy. Sheriff Mark Brown said the office was in the process of issuing an AMBER Alert --- a child abduction broadcast --- at the time of the arrest.
Deputy Darren Crownover wrote the probable cause narrative of the incident. At 10:42 a.m. on Friday, a 22-year-old woman called 911 from her East Harbor Road home to report that Downey, her ex-boyfriend, was at her home in violation of a restraining order. The woman screamed that he broke the window and then the phone went dead.
Crownover and two other deputies quickly arrived at the house, but nobody was there. The window on the front door was broken and the door was ajar. The deputies went inside to check on the woman’s welfare and found blood on a banister and door.
Crownover noted in his report that he is familiar with the issues between Downey and his ex-girlfriend. He realized that the woman’s son was also missing.
The deputies put out an “attempt to locate” on the woman and child, as well as Downey’s Jeep.
At 11:26 a.m., two deputies located and stopped the Jeep on Highway 20 at Jacobs Road.
During an interview with a detective, the woman explained that Downey broke into her house by breaking a window. She was hiding in the bathroom, but Downey broke down the door. She and her boy fled to a bedroom and hid in a closet until Downey dragged her out by the hair while she was holding the child in her arms, according to the deputy’s report.
Downey forced them into his vehicle and left at a high rate of speed while the child was unsecured. Downey told the woman that “he was going to drive them off the Deception Pass Bridge and kill them all,” the report states.
Downey drove north to Greenbank. He turned off Highway 525 and drove off the road and over a fence to a residence he claimed belonged to a friend. He brought the woman and child to the house, apparently after breaking in. Downey returned the child to the vehicle and then led the woman to a bedroom where he allegedly raped her; he said he was angry because he thought she was seeing someone else and wanted to impregnate her, the deputy’s report alleges.
Afterward, Downey returned the woman to the Jeep and continued driving north with her and the child. This time he told the woman that “he was going to drive off the Coupeville Wharf and kill them all,” the report states. But a short time later, the vehicle was pulled over by deputies.
In an interview at the jail, Downey admitted to the deputy that he broke into the house and took the woman and boy while armed with a knife, Crownover wrote. Downey claimed he had consensual sex with the woman and that he was intending to turn himself in when he was stopped by deputies.
The deadline for the Island County Prosecutor’s Office to file charges against Downey is Wednesday.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.