A man arrested in connection with the kidnapping and sexual assault of a woman west of Fresno on Wednesday night has been identified as 24-year-old Yair Flores, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday.
Spokesman Tony Botti said investigators have determined it was not a random act, but he said he couldn’t release further details.
“All I can say is that it was a lifestyle choice of hers that brought them together,” Botti said Thursday. “They didn’t have any romance history or anything like that.”
Botti said investigators had also located the vehicle believed used in the crime.
Flores, a Parlier resident, was booked into the Fresno County jail and faces felony charges of kidnapping and rape.
On Wednesday night at a news conference near the scene of the crime, Botti said a 21-year-old woman was recovering in the hospital after she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted in an orchard west of Fresno.
Botti said the woman was walking on McKinley Avenue near West Avenue around 6:30 p.m. when a gold, four-door pickup pulled up and the driver called her over. When the woman approached the truck’s passenger window, the man pulled a gun and demanded that she get in, Botti said.
After the woman did so, the suspect allegedly drove 4 miles to the 500 block of Blythe Avenue near Highway 180, where he sexually assaulted her before letting her go.
Botti said then that investigators initially believed it was a random attack.
Botti said the woman managed to walk a short distance north where she found an employee at a packing shed who called the Sheriff’s Office. The woman was taken to a local hospital for medical evaluation, he said.
Detectives learned that the pickup was at a home in Selma near the intersection of East Nebraska and South Academy avenues, Botti said. Flores was not with the truck. Investigators then determined Flores might be at an apartment complex at the corner of East Manning and South Mendocino avenues in Parlier, where he was arrested without incident. Deputies also recovered a handgun believed to have been used in the crime.