A DNA analysis of a sexual assault kit from a 13-year-old rape case in Vancouver’s Fourth Plain Village neighborhood has led to the arrest of a convicted sex offender in connection with the crime.
Pablo Marquez-Garduza, 47, made an in-custody first court appearance Wednesday on suspicion of first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping. Clark County Superior Court Judge Gregory Gonzales set bail at $300,000, and scheduled an arraignment for Aug. 28, according to court records.
On Oct. 16, 2005, a woman reported to the Vancouver Police Department that she was walking home from a friend’s house when she was grabbed from behind by her hair and pulled into a brushy area near East 33rd Street and Watson Avenue, according to the affidavit.
After the rape, the man ran away while the woman ran to a convenience store at Northeast 44th Street and St. Johns Boulevard, the affidavit said. She used a phone at the store to call a friend, who picked her up before they called 911.
In an interview with police, the woman described the man as dark-skinned; around 30 years old; 5 feet 7 inches tall with a thin build and dark, wavy hair, according to the affidavit.
“She saw his face, but due to the darkness, she was not certain of his age and race or whether she would be able to identify him,” the affidavit reads.
The woman underwent a forensic sexual assault medical examination, according to the affidavit. An officer determined through further examination of the crime scene that, after she was pulled into the brush, the man pushed her down an embankment and out of sight prior to the rape, the affidavit said.
The next development in the case that was noted in the affidavit occurred on March 20, 2018, when the woman’s sexual assault kit was sent to Utah-based Sorenson Forensics for examination. The Vancouver Police Department was not able to immediately comment on the length of time between the rape and when the sample was tested.
In April, the forensics consulting company sent a DNA analysis report to the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory. DNA from the kit was connected to an unknown male, the affidavit said.
The crime lab entered the DNA samples into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, which matched the evidence to Marquez-Garduza, according to the affidavit.
Marquez-Garduza is a previously convicted felon who had an outstanding 2016 Clark County Superior Court warrant on three counts of first-degree child rape and three counts of first-degree child molestation, according to the affidavit. Further investigation revealed that Marquez-Garduza was living under an assumed name in Novato, Calif., where he was arrested in November 2018 in connection with domestic violence offenses, the affidavit said.
He was extradited to the Clark County Jail. Evidence from a mouth swab conducted at the jail was sent to the WSP crime lab, which confirmed on Aug. 4 that it matched DNA from the original sexual assault kit, according to the affidavit.
On Aug. 13, the woman said she had never met Marquez-Garduza and was shown a booking photo of him from November 2005.
“That man does not look familiar to me at all,” the affidavit reads. “I don’t know him at all.”
Jail booking records indicate that, at the time the photo was taken, Marquez-Garduza closely matched the description provided by the victim soon after the attack, according to the affidavit.