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home : latest news : latest news May 24, 2016

8/17/2013 3:23:00 PM
Flagstaff police arrest 22-year-old man in serial rape case
Gregory Woody Jr.
Gregory Woody Jr.

Flagstaff Police have been investigating a series of rape cases and have now matched DNA with one man in three of four incidents.

The first occurred Jan. 18 when a young woman was picked up in the downtown area in the early morning hours by a Native American man who drove her to an isolated area near JW Powell Blvd. and Lonetree and violently sexually assaulted her.

A Flagstaff police officer drove past the area while transporting an arrested person at the time of the assault and recalled seeing a white-colored pickup and shone her spotlight at the truck but could see no one inside.

A second rape occurred on July 13 when one woman and two men met a Native American man who gave them a ride from the downtown in the early morning.

The three were driven to a motel room they had rented and they offered to allow the suspect to stay there as well. But, later that night, the suspect got into a physical confrontation with the two men who then left the motel.

The suspect then attempted to sexually assault the woman, who had remained behind and also bit her. A swab of the bite mark has been linked to the DNA to the Jan. 18 case. The suspect was driving a small-size white pickup.

On July 21, a young woman was walking from the downtown when she was approached by a Native American man near Humphreys and Route 66. They walked together for a ways, but then he attacked and sexually assaulted her. Evidence shows the suspect is the same as involved Jan. 18 and July 13.

On Aug. 8, a young woman was walking in the downtown late at night was followed and chased by a Native American.

This victim reported the suspect threw her to the ground and sexually assaulted her in the area of Cherry and Kendrick. There was no forensics, but the description and method of the attack match the assaults on Jan. 18 and July 21.

After the July 21 attack, Flagstaff Police and other law agencies increased uniform and undercover presence in downtown.

On Friday, Aug. 9, two Flagstaff women officers working undercover became aware of a man matching the rape case description appeared suspicious. One officer working as a decoy, walked past this subject and said hi.

The subject immediately began walking with her and eventually asked her to sit with him and asked if she would like a ride out of downtown. The subject began running his hand under her shirt and down her lower back and waistline.

He grabbed her in a bear hug and attempted to kiss her. The subject then threw the woman officer over his shoulder in a fireman's carry, but she was able to escape.

The second officer saw he was driving a white Toyota pickup and recorded the license. The subject was then seen following the first officer in his vehicle after they parted. Police officers later located the subject and his truck at his apartment in Flagstaff near the location of the January assault. Officers interviewed 22-year-old Gregory Woody Jr.

Woody gave consent for the detective to take a swab for DNA comparison.

On Aug. 15, detectives got confirmation from the crime lab that the swab from Woody matched the DNA from the Jan. 18, July 13, and July 21 assaults.

Woody was taken into custody on Aug. 15 during the afternoon.

Officers continue to follow up and are now talking with investigators in Colorado and Montana to compare similar incidents there.

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