Tempe rape victim thanks police who worked the case

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
Ekwunze Job Owen Jr. By Mike Gertzman Ekwunze Job Owen Jr. By Mike Gertzman

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The man accused of raping an elderly Tempe woman in her apartment was captured this week and the victim has some kind words for the police who worked the case.

"The kindness and respect shown me was simply awesome," the 91-year old survivor wrote in a note to a Tempe police detective. "I would not have survived so well without them all."

On Wednesday, police announced the arrest of Ekwunze Job Owen Jr., 24.

"The fact that a predator would prey on a 91-year-old victim is unconscionable," said Chief Tom Ryff with the Tempe Police Department.

Mesa police, Tempe police and U.S. marshals all worked the case, knocking on doors, working long hours and finally linking Owen to the rape in Tempe and several other sex crimes in Mesa.

"These officers have worked this around the clock over the last several weeks," Mesa police Chief Frank Milstead said.

Police said Owen had been preying on the vulnerable.

"Our elderly are vulnerable and our youth are vulnerable and not one second is going to go by in our professions that we won't make this a top priority," Ryff said.

"Working the 'Baseline Killer' Mark Goudeau and working the 'A.M. Rapist' David Wilson Jr., I had seen what had happened and I can see how fast these things grow and so we knew it was important to put the task force together immediately and start working this thing really around the clock," Milstead said.

Owen is facing a long list of charges and is being held without bond.

Investigators are still working the case and are continuing to gather information on these crimes, but for now they have the words of this 91-year old survivor.

"Please show this to your boss as I want him (or her) to know Tempe police are incredibly great," she wrote in the note. She signed it "affectionately" and then her name.


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