An Oregon man who posed as an undercover police officer, kidnapped a woman in Seattle and drove her hundreds of miles to his home, where he locked her in a makeshift cinder block cell until she was able to escape, has been arrested, authorities said Wednesday.
Negasi Zuberi, 29, of Klamath Falls, Oregon, faces several felony charges in connection to the July 15 attack, the Justice Department said. Investigators are looking for additional victims after he was linked to sexual assaults in at least four more states.
“The more we look into this case, the more we become concerned as law enforcement that there may be more that we’re missing,” Stephanie Shark, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Portland field office, said during a news conference. “We are concerned that if we work backward that we’re going to find numerous victims.”
The FBI said Zuberi, who also went by Sakima, Justin Hyche and Justin Kouassi, drove 450 miles from his Oregon home to Seattle, where he solicited a prostitute while pretending to be a law enforcement officer, authorities said.
He allegedly pointed a laser at the woman, placed her in handcuffs and leg irons and put her in the back seat of his car. He allegedly sexually assaulted her repeatedly during the trip.
Once they arrived at his home in Klamath Falls, Zuberi put her in the makeshift single-door cell in a garage. Once he left, the woman banged on the door and was able to escape a few hours later.
Once she escaped, the woman flagged down a motorist who called 911. She sustained some lacerations and was doing well, authorities said.
Zuberi fled after the woman escape, and was arrested in Reno, Nevada.
In a news release, Shark said the woman’s “quick thinking and will to survive may have saved other women from a similar nightmare.”
Authorities said they believe Zuberi had only been in Oregon for a few months. He has lived in several states since 2016, investigators said. Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington are among the possible states where he may have previously lived, the FBI said.
Anyone who has information or believes they may be a victim is asked to visit the website: fbi.gov/SakimaVictims or call 1-800-CALL-FBI.