As part of the investigation into last month's child rape that has rocked Santa Ana, the police department released an artist rendering of the attacker and later a generic photograph of the type of vehicle he was seen driving.
Now, the Santa Ana Police Department has released an image of what detectives believe was the actual car used in the crime.
The photograph unveiled Friday, which was pulled from surveillance video, shows a 1999-2000
Honda 2-door Civic EX or SI with a sunroof, tinted windows, stock alloy
rims and a stock spoiler.
A 6-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy were playing outside apartments in the 1400
block of South
Townsend near Edinger Avenue between 6-6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 15, when that car pulled up.
A heavy-set Latino in his 30s to 40s and standing 5 feet 7 got out and walked over the children, holding out a piece of paper he said was for the girl's mother. He then grabbed her, pulled her into the Honda and drove south on Townsend before turning onto Edinger.
They eventually arrived at an unknown parking lot, where the adult sexually assaulted the girl before driving her back to the neighborhood and dropping her off about two hours later. By then, neighbors were out searching for the missing girl, and they gave chase to the man, which accounts for the solid descriptions police were given on the attacker and his ride.
The image released Friday was taken from video at a business on Edinger, according to police. Anyone
with information is asked to contact Orange County Crime
Stoppers at 855.TIP.OCCS or the Santa Ana Police Department at 714.245.8497. Anyone with a tip that leads to an arrest
is reportedly eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before "graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.