crimesider

Fugitive kidnapping suspect: "I'm the guy you're looking for"

ASTORIA, Ore. -- An Everett, Wash. man accused of abducting and sexually assaulting a 15-year-old California girl he met online before letting her go was arrested Thursday by police and FBI agents on the north Oregon coast.

Russell Wayne Deviney, 48, was arrested near Cannon Beach, The Daily Astorian reported.

A woman out for a morning walk spotted the man in a privately owned wooded area south of Cannon Beach, reported CBS affiliate KOIN. When authorities asked his name, police said he replied, "I'm the guy you're looking for."

Astoria Police Chief Brad Johnston said several credible tips led to his capture. Investigators found him behind a locked gate. He was taken into custody without incident, reports the station.

"Everyone is aware of what he looks like," Kathleen Merritt, whose coworker spotted Deviney, told KOIN. "She has 3 children of her own, so she's very protective of her kids as we all are."

The man was arrested for investigation of offenses including first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse. He had been sought on a nationwide felony warrant.

Deviney is accused of abducting the girl on Saturday in Sanger, California. She reportedly thought she was meeting an 18-year-old man. The man left her Monday evening at a fast-food restaurant in Astoria.

The girl was later reunited with her family, who drove up from their home in Sanger.

Court documents say the girl had spoken on Instagram with someone she thought was a teenager called "JR." She told investigators she had been upset with her mother last Friday and told "JR," who suggested they take a one-day vacation. She left her home with an overnight bag and went to meet her online contact. When she first encountered the man, he was wearing a hood, hiding his face. He eventually acknowledged he was older, the documents said.

"Once she realized the person she was meeting actually was a 48-year-old man, she was already in the vehicle and under Deviney's control," Astoria Police Deputy Chief Eric Halverson said. When the girl told the man she wanted to go home, she says he disabled her phone, although she apparently was able to send her mother a couple of brief messages.

Prosecutors said the victim was sexually abused at a rest stop in Oregon, reports KOIN.

The girl told investigators that the man received a phone call Monday from police. Court papers said he parked his pickup at a McDonald's in Astoria, collected his belongings and left. The girl walked inside and said she had been abducted. She was found around 7 p.m.

Police tracked Deviney using tips and surveillance images. He was caught on camera Tuesday at a pub in Seaside, another coastal Oregon town north of where he was captured in Cannon Beach.

The suspect was seen on the surveillance images with a recently shaved mustache, and allegedly asked someone how to reach Cannon Beach by foot, reports KOIN.

On Wednesday, a tipster reportedly told Seaside Police they had seen him at a Seaside outlet mall the day before.

"This case highlights the benefits and the dangers of social media. The victim in this case did not have any way to verify the identity of the person she had been corresponding with," Johnston said.

Deviney was expected to appear Friday in Clatsop County Circuit Court.