Update: Suspect in motel fire, assault in custody

July 23, 2009 1:38:41 PM PDT
Police are investigating a fire that may have been started to hide a sexual assault. The Falls Township Police received several phone calls Thursday morning indicating that the person of interest was in the Trenton, New Jersey area. He was seen on foot wearing the same yellow t-shirt seen in the photos.

Falls Detectives responded to the Trenton area and about 9:00 a.m. the person of interest turned himself in to Trenton Police.

The person of interest voluntarily came back over to Pennsylvania and is in the process of being interviewed.

Through his statements, police say they are certain that he is the person involved with the rape and arson at the Country House Motel.

Police are in the process of obtaining a search warrant for DNA for physical evidence.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, the Falls Township Police Department was dispatched to a fire at the Country House Motel on Lincoln Highway in Morrisville. The fire originated in one room and quickly spread to several adjoining rooms.

About a half hour later a woman in her early 20's called from the 7-11 on Nolan Ave in Morrisville and claimed to have been sexually assaulted in the same room at the Country House Motel were the fire originated. The fire was extinguished in one hour by the Falls Township Fire Company.

Through investigation it was determined that the female was driven over to Morrisville from Trenton, NJ by a man whom she met via a mutual friend.

The man stopped at the 7-11 Store at Alden and W. Trenton Avenues in Morrisville about 1:30 a.m.

After purchasing several items, the man drove the woman to the Country House Motel, and forced her into the room with a weapon. Police say, the suspect then sexually assaulted the woman several times until she claimed she wasn't feeling well. She went into the bathroom and climbed out the window to escape. She then walked along W. Trenton Avenue calling on her cell phone for help. When she got to the 7-11 at Nolan Avenue she called police.

In the meantime, a fire started at the room where the sexual assault occurred.

Investigation determined the fire was intentionally set to hide evidence of the sexual assault.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Falls Township Police Detectives at 215-949-9100.