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Rape suspect discovered hiding in North Whidbey woman's yard | Audio clip
North Whidbey resident Darcy Zook got the scare of a lifetime when police caught a suspect in a brutal rape and kidnapping case hiding in an orchard just outside her door Saturday.
Zook said her neighborhood on Moran Beach Lane was swarming with law enforcement officers from five different agencies as they searched for a suspect.
Things started getting a little terrifying when a K-9 officer from the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office came to her door; he said he had seen a man in a hoodie run across the road and go to her house.
Zook said the officer and his dog walked around the house and the officer kept asking her where the man was.
“It was really, really scary,” she said, explaining that the officer thought she and her neighbor, who was at her home, were being held captive under threat.
Finally, a group of law enforcement officers converged on her property.
The officer with the dog went into her apple orchard and dragged out the man who had been hiding there, about 10 feet from her house.
The suspect, Douglas Blackburn, 50, was put into handcuffs and taken away.
Blackburn appeared in Island County Superior Court Monday afternoon. Judge Vickie Churchill said she found probable cause existed to hold him in custody on suspicion of second-degree rape and second-degree kidnapping with sexual motivation.
Blackburn didn’t make any statements, but continually shook his head.
Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme said Blackburn’s criminal history includes two felony drug cases and a lengthy misdemeanor history.
Blackburn was arrested in 2008 for running a methamphetamine lab in the woods near Goss Lake on South Whidbey.
Churchill ordered him held Monday in lieu of $150,000 bail.
Deputies were first alerted to the alleged rape and kidnapping by a 911 hang-up call from a Moran Road residence.
Dispatchers called the number back and Blackburn allegedly answered the telephone and claimed his young daughter accidentally dialed the emergency number. A woman could be heard yelling for help in the background.
The Island County Sheriff's Office release the tape of the 911 call Tuesday.
Deputies responded to the scene to check and found “an extremely upset” 42-year-old woman sitting in a car, according to the report by a detective with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.
The woman said she was in a relationship with Blackburn and had been staying with him in a travel trailer on the property until she left in April because of domestic violence.
She saw him in court Monday, June 9, and went to the trailer with him to retrieve some of her belongings.
The woman told officers that Blackburn held her against her will inside the trailer. He allegedly raped her “numerous times” with his hands and many different objects, the report alleges.
The woman said she convinced Blackburn to let her go outside Saturday to relieve herself since the trailer didn’t have a working bathroom.
Blackburn allegedly smeared her own fecal matter all over her, the report states.
The woman said she talked Blackburn into letting her use a shower in the barn, where she quickly called 911 on a phone inside the building.
The woman told officers that Blackburn grabbed the phone from her and hung it up, according to the report.
Blackburn ran from the scene before deputies arrived.
Lt. Mike Hawley with the Island County Sheriff’s Office set up a temporary command post and requested assistance from other jurisdictions to search the containment area.
Officers from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, the Oak Harbor Police Department, the Washington State Patrol, Washington State Parks and the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office responded.
After he was arrested, Blackburn claimed that he had not held the woman against her will and that she could have left whenever she wanted.
Blackburn also claimed that he and the woman got into an argument and she threw feces at him, so he threw it back at her.
He said he ran from the scene because he was afraid of her, the report states.
Zook said deputies told all the neighbors to lock themselves inside their homes during the search, which went on for about an hour and a half.
A deputy allowed Zook to take baby ducks outside briefly, but she had a “creepy feeling” like someone was watching her. She said her neighborhood is a very quiet place populated by mainly older people.
“That stuff doesn’t happen here,” she said.
While it was a frightening experience, Zook said the deputies, particularly the K9 officer, were extremely professional and she’s very happy they got their man.