The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office early Thursday caught a rape suspect hiding in the trunk of a car.

Undersheriff John Bowles in a written statement reported the sheriff’s office Tuesday at 6:54 a.m. received a report of a sexual assault that occurred at a residence on Meenderinck Farms south of Irrigon. Sgt. Brian Snyder and Sgt. Nathen Braun responded and talked with a 21-year-old woman who reported she was raped by Pedro Lopez-Larios, 34, of Boardman.

The sergeants found Lopez-Larios in a bedroom of the residence, but before they could make a move on him, he jumped out of a window, bolted and escaped into a nearby 80-acre field of poplar trees.

Other Morrow County sheriff’s deputies arrived, set a perimeter and began searching for Lopez-Larios. Deputies from the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the use of two drones.

After hours of searching, however, law enforcement had not found Lopez-Larios. Snyder and Braun continued the investigation, according to Bowles, and Snyder caught wind Lopez-Larios was trying to leave Oregon. Morrow County deputies with backup from Hermiston police conducted a traffic stop Thursday at 12:13 a.m. and found Lopez-Larios in the vehicle’s trunk.

The sheriff’s office arrested Lopez-Larios, took him to the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, and booked him on charges of first-degree rape and sexual abuse.

The district attorney’s office later Thursday morning brought the preliminary charges against Lopez-Larios, and Circuit Judge Daniel Hill set the bail at $500,000. The case has a probable cause hearing Thursday.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.