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Idaho man Eric Ferguson arrested for raping, kidnapping Oakley teen 22 years later, police say: Here’s how he was arrested

OAKLEY, Calif. (KGO) — Twenty-two years ago, Oakley police said a teenage girl was walking her dog on a trail near what is now Laurel Road and Main Street.

She was approached by a man who got out of a car, pointed a gun at her and ordered her to sit in the back seat.

“The man then took her to another park, I don’t know where it was, but when they arrived he ordered her at gunpoint to perform sexual acts,” she said. said Chief Paul Beard of the Oakley Police Department.

Beard said she escaped, ran to a nearby house and called police.

RESOURCES: Get help for sexual assault, rape and abuse

Investigators took a DNA sample from the victim.

The results have been uploaded to a national database of other DNA profiles, called CODIS or Combined DNA Index System, without success for decades.

“A lot of these profiles sit dormant, just waiting for something to match them,” Beard said.

Two decades have passed without any leads.

Then detectives learned of a possible DNA match two years ago.

That led them to Eric Ferguson, 49, of northern Idaho.

The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said they obtained his DNA sample when he was arrested for drunk driving in 2022.

“From what we understand, this is from a previous arrest where they had taken his DNA sample, and so that kind of gave them the information, but we had to get it directly from of a search warrant on his body and that really moved the investigation forward again for them,” said Zachary Sifford, spokesperson for the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office.

Beard says that two years later, two of his new detectives obtained a search warrant to conduct their own DNA sampling to confirm the match.

They hopped on a plane and, with the help of three other agencies, obtained a new DNA sample from Ferguson.

They took him back to California and confirmed a match.

“They notified us and we formed our joint response team with the Coeur d’Alene City Police and we executed this arrest warrant on him. He turned himself in immediately and was taken into custody without any incident,” Sifford said.

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Charging documents from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office show the victim was under the age of 14 at the time of the rape.

His age allows prosecutors to charge the suspect with a harsher sentence that waives the statute of limitations and makes Ferguson eligible for life in prison if convicted.

“I’m hopeful that this development will bring some resolution to our victim. I can’t imagine living without that resolution, so I hope we can get it for her,” Beard said.

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Beard, crediting the good police work of his detectives who had undergone specialized training.

“I’m very proud of my guys, my guys had to really take the initiative to really persevere and do something we’ve never done before,” he said. “We’ve never crossed state lines to bring someone back to California, so they really had to figure out and educate themselves on how to get through this extradition process.”

Ferguson is scheduled to be arraigned in Contra Costa County Court on June 6.

If you or a loved one needs support regarding sexual assault or domestic violence, you can also visit Community Violence Solutions.

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