McMinnville woman kidnapped, raped and left for dead

The abduction and brutal rape of a McMinnville woman this weekis just the latest in a rash of violence against women inOregon.

Over the weekend, a woman disappeared from the Portland motelwhere she lived and worked. Her body was found Sunday in ablackberry thicket. On May 24, Brigham Young University studentBrooke Wilberger was apparently abducted from a Corvallis apartmentbuilding and has not been found since.

Lt. Ron Noble of the Corvallis Police Department said it washard to tell whether there was actually an increase in violentcrimes against women or whether they were just getting morepublicity, making people more aware of them.

“Is it because I’m more in tune with it, or are they actuallyincreasing? It’s hard to know,” Noble said.

Corvallis police are taking a look at the McMinnville case forsimilarities to the Wilberger case, but right now, they don’tappear to be related other than the two women are blonde, hesaid.

“As their case develops, we will take a look and see whether itrelates to Brook’s disappearance,” Noble said.

In the McMinnville case, the woman was forced at gunpoint fromthe group home where she was working into her attacker’s truck anddriven to a rural wooded area in Yamhill County. There she wassexually assaulted repeatedly before being choked tounconsciousness and left for dead, District Attorney Brad Berrysaid.

When the 18-year-old woman woke up, she found her way to alogging road, where a log truck driver found her and took her backto McMinnville, Berry said.

Police are looking for a short male, 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-7, witha stocky build, dark crew cut hair with a blemish on the right sideof his face. He was operating a mid-sized extended cab pickup truckthat is red or burgundy and had some type of bed liner.

In Portland, Ilaben Patel, 45, disappeared from her family’snortheast Portland motel on Friday.

Relatives said she had been working at the motel’s front desk,when she went to a vacant room to pick up some cleaning supplies.When the woman’s husband went to the room he found the cleaningsupplies, but no sign of his wife.

Police said there was no sign of a struggle, and Patel leftbehind her purse, car keys and heart medication.

An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of her death. Themedical examiner sent blood and urine samples to a state lab foradditional tests, but results are not expected for two to threeweeks, said Deputy Medical Examiner Brian Applegate.

Police are still looking for leads into Wilberger’sdisappearance, Noble said. “We haven’t made any big breaks in thecase, but we’re progressing,” he said.

No one has been charged in Wilberger’s disappearance, butinvestigators have identified five people of “significantinterest.”

One of them is Sung Koo Kim, 30, of Tigard, who is now in aMultnomah County jail on theft and burglary charges after allegedlystealing women’s underwear from college dormitories.

Kim’s lawyer has said her client has an alibi for the day ofWilberger’s disappearance. The authorities have said there is “noprobable cause” to arrest Kim in the case.