Idaho man suspected of 2002 kidnapping and rape in California arrested

KOOTENAI COUNTY – A 49-year-old man was arrested after police said he was on the run for 22 years following kidnapping and rape allegations.

Eric J. Ferguson, of Rathdrum, was arrested Thursday evening by the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, Coeur d'Alene Police Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Ferguson was wanted by the Oakley Police Department in California on charges related to the 2002 kidnapping and rape of a child under 18, according to a news release from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office.

The California Supreme Court issued an arrest warrant for Ferguson on Thursday, charging him with rape of an incompetent person, forced oral copulation and kidnapping for rape.

Ferguson is being held in the Kootenai County Jail as he awaits extradition to California.

“Kootenai County is a safer place because Ferguson is now in jail,” Kootenai County Sheriff Bob Norris said in a news release. “A firearm was used in this alleged violent sexual assault and the suspect must be held accountable for his actions.”

Brent Bunn, United States Marshal for the District of Idaho, says the collaboration of multiple law enforcement agencies brought them one step closer to justice for the victim in this case.

“The persistence of Oakley Police Department detectives throughout this investigation was exceptional,” Bunn said in the release.

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office also thanked the USMS, the Coeur d'Alene Police Department and the Oakley Police Department for their assistance and cooperation in the investigation and arrest of Ferguson.

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Anna Harden

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