Two cold rape cases heat up with arrests

By on Saturday, March 27th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

KENNEWICK – The Kennewick Police Department reports that a man who allegedly kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old girl in 2008 is finally in jail. Suspect Enrique Diaz, who was 21 at the time, fled the Tri-Cities area before he could be arrested for second-degree kidnapping. The kidnapping and sexual assault was reported to KPD after the victim was back home with her family.

This month, Diaz was stopped by U.S. Border Patrol agents while attempting to enter the United States from Mexico. He was booked into the San Diego County Jail and waived extradition.

A KPD extradition team traveled to San Diego to arrest Diaz and bring him back to Benton County to stand trial. KPD praised the San Diego Sheriff’s Office and the Port of San Diego Harbor Police for assisting in making the extradition a smooth, safe effort.

Anyone with any information about the case against Diaz is asked to call 509-628-0333 and reference case number 08-26118.

Earlier in the month, police in Louisiana arrested Gabriel Valdez, now 44, on an outstanding warrant from the Benton County Prosecutor’s Office for first-degree rape of a child. The report of that assault stemmed from a tip by a concerned student regarding sexual abuse of a sibling in 2016. Valdez failed to show up for a court appearance on that charge and has been in the wind until he was picked up in Louisiana.

A team from the Kennewick department flew to Louisiana and booked Valdez into Benton County Jail. KPD said the Louisiana State Police and the Vernon County Sheriff’s Department were partners in bringing Valdez back to Washington.