BOSTON (CBS) – Investigators say they hauled him out of the shadows, Henry Gonzalez now 44 years old and charged with kidnapping and raping a 13-year-old Saugus girl with special needs 17 years ago.
When his trial was set to begin, Gonzalez fled and stayed hidden all these years. Saugus Police Chief Domenic DiMella says investigators never gave up. “When you harm the most vulnerable among us we’ll not rest until we bring you to justice,” he said.
Investigators say Gonzalez, a former bus driver, picked up the young victim at her Saugus home December 16, 1998. But instead of taking her to school he allegedly took her to his mother’s apartment in Lynn where he repeatedly raped her.
They say he then dropped her off at the Square One Mall where she walked to school in neighboring Melrose and reported what happened.
Chief DiMella says they thought they had him. “We were happy he was going to face justice back then and be held accountable,” he said. “You know the rest he didn’t show up.”
It was back in 2010 that authorities received information Gonzalez was in his native Dominican Republic. He was finally arrested back in May but it would take five more months to bring him back to face the charges.
It’s a case that was widely publicized including a prominent feature on America’s Most Wanted that helped generate tips. Investigators say they now hope this is the end of the road for Gonzalez and it brings some closure to a now 30-year-old woman.
He’s being held without bail with a pre-trial hearing set for November 27.