Man charged with abducting Freeland woman, child
By JESSIE STENSLAND
South Whidbey Record Staff Reporter
March 23, 2012 · Updated 2:11 PM
A 22-year-old man accused of abducting a South Whidbey woman and her child from their home last week has been charged with a long list of crimes, including kidnapping and rape.
Prosecutors charged George Downey, a Greenbank resident, in Island County Superior Court on March 20 with two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count of first-degree rape with forcible compulsion, two counts of burglary in the first degree, a felony violation of a court order, a misdemeanor violation of a court order and assault in the fourth degree. All the counts, except one burglary, were charged as domestic-violence related.
Downey is being held in Island County jail on $750,000 bail. If convicted of the charges against him, Downey could face more than 20 years in prison under the standard sentencing range.
Downey is accused of abducting his ex-girlfriend and her 4-year-old boy from a home on East Harbor Road near Freeland on March 16. He raped the woman and threatened to kill himself and the victims by driving off Deception Pass Bridge, according to a deputy’s report on the incident.
About an hour after the abduction, deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office pulled over Downey’s Jeep on Highway 20 near Coupeville, saving the woman and child. Sheriff Mark Brown said the office was in the process of issuing an AMBER Alert — a child abduction broadcast — at the time of the arrest.
Deputy Darren Crownover wrote the probable cause narrative of the incident. At 10:42 a.m. on Friday, a 22-year-old woman called 911 to report that Downey, her ex-boyfriend, was at her home in violation of a restraining order. The woman screamed and then the phone went dead.
Crownover and two other deputies quickly arrived at the house, but nobody was there. The window on the front door was broken and the door was ajar. The deputies went inside to check on the woman’s welfare and found blood on a banister and door.
Crownover noted in his report that he is familiar with the issues between Downey and his ex-girlfriend. He realized that the woman’s son was also missing. The deputies put out an “attempt to locate” on the woman and child, as well as Downey’s Jeep.
At 11:26 a.m., two deputies located and stopped the Jeep on Highway 20 at Jacobs Road.
During an interview with a detective, the woman explained that Downey broke into her house by breaking a window. She was hiding in the bathroom until Downey broke down a door. She and her boy fled to a bedroom and hid in a closet until Downey dragged her out by the hair while she was holding the child in her arms, according to the deputy’s report.
Downey took them to his vehicle and left at a high rate of speed while the child was unsecured. Downey told her that “he was going to drive them off the Deception Pass Bridge and kill them all,” the report states.
Downey drove north to Greenbank. He turned off Highway 525 and drove off the road and over a fence to a residence he claimed belonged to a friend. He took the woman to a bedroom where he raped her; he said he was angry because he thought she was seeing someone else and wanted to impregnate her, the deputy’s report alleges.
Afterward, Downey returned the woman to the Jeep and continued driving north with her and the child. He told the woman that “he was going to drive off the Coupeville Wharf and kill them all,” the report states. But a short time later, the vehicle was pulled over by deputies.
In an interview at the jail, Downey admitted to the deputy that he broke into the house and took the woman and boy while armed with a knife, Crownover wrote. Downey claimed he had consensual sex with the woman and that he was intending to turn himself in when he was stopped by deputies.
Contact South Whidbey Record Staff Reporter Jessie Stensland at email@example.com.