Police say a Lakewood man was arrested on multiple charges after he met a couple of teens through social media, sexually assaulted one, and then ransacked the home they were staying in. Police Chief Jeff Myers said in a press release that on the evening of Sunday, June 30, 2019, Hoquiam officers were contacted by the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office after finding a 12-year old female dropped off in Stevenson who was reported as a runaway juvenile from Hoquiam.
The girl told deputies she had been kidnapped from Hoquiam and sexually assaulted by a man she had met over social media.
During the course of the investigation, detectives learned the 12-year old actually had left Hoquiam in the evening on a bus with a second 13-year old runaway girl who was originally from Lakewood. Due to the late start, the girls only made it as far as McCleary.
The juveniles spent the night in the McCleary home of the Lakewood girl’s former foster parents before traveling to Lakewood by bus the next day.
Once in Lakewood, the girls contacted acquaintances over social media in an attempt to get a ride. The girls were referred to a 21-year old Lakewood man via Facebook messenger who was apparently willing to drive over to meet the girls. The man referred to himself as “Gucci” on social media.
Once he drove up in his brown mid-90’s Toyota Camry, the 13-year old decided not to leave with the man, so the 12-year old was left alone. The male apparently drove the 12-year old girl to a local park and sexually assaulted her inside the vehicle.
After the assault, the suspect and victim drove to Grays Harbor where he burglarized and spend the night in the same McCleary home where the girls had been the night before. The victim was again sexually assaulted.
The home was ransacked for valuables, to include large electronics, computers, personal effects and three firearms. Detectives noted the evidence indicated the suspect had basically stuffed as many items into his car as it could hold.
The suspect and victim left the home early the next morning so as not to be noticed by neighbors. The suspect then drove the victim to various locations around southwest Washington and into Oregon before crossing the Bridge of the Gods into Skamania County.
Late in the evening, the suspect abandoned the 12-year old girl at a closed coffee stand before driving to another nearby location where he allegedly picked up a 16-year old girl who was also reported as a runaway.
Hoquiam detectives worked with the McCleary Police Department and the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office to identify the 21-year old suspect and attempt to determine his current whereabouts.
Hoquiam detectives responded to McCleary with McCleary officers to collect evidence at the burglarized home. Skamania County released a law enforcement bulletin in an attempt to locate the suspect and 16-year old girl as there was concern over her welfare.
The suspect was identified as 21-year-old Jeremiah D. Shallow he apparently had no permanent address, but was last known to reside in the Lakewood area.
Detectives secured a Grays Harbor County felony arrest warrant for Shallow while Skamania County learned the 16-year old girl called from a location in Pierce County on July 3rd reporting she had also been sexually assaulted by the suspect.
Pierce County deputies responded to the location and arrested Shallow on the warrant before he was transferred to the Hoquiam City Jail where he was interviewed by detectives.
Shallow was later booked in the Grays Harbor County Jail for several felony offenses, including rape of a child, kidnapping, first degree burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm. He is being held on $350,000 bail; Skamania County has also issued a felony arrest warrant for Shallow.
The 12-year old victim is currently hospitalized for treatment.
In the days since the arrest, Detectives have been able to recover some of the property stolen in the burglary, including two of the firearms.
As the investigation has progressed, detectives believe there are likely other juvenile victims in Washington and possibly northern Oregon. As detectives have reviewed phone records, it appears the suspect actively targeted troubled, underage vulnerable girls via social media and text message communication.
As many sexual assaults are never reported, it is critical to empower victims to report these abuses to law enforcement for criminal investigation. If there are additional victims, they are encouraged to call their local law enforcement agency where the offense occurred.
Detectives have also been in contact with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force for assistance if this case continues to progress across multiple counties or states.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation should call HPD Detective Sergeant Jeremy Mitchell at (360) 532-0892 extension 287; or email Det. Sgt. Mitchell at [email protected]