Police: Nevada man arrested in 2005 Eugene rape case after lab tests on evidence


EUGENE, Ore. - Medical evidence gathered after the report of a rape in 2005 examined as part of a recent push to review unprocessed lab evidence in Oregon has led detectives to a suspect in Nevada, Eugene Police said Tuesday.

The Mineral County, Nevada, Sheriff's Office arrested Jeffrey Noel Van Arkel of Walker Lake, Nevada, on probable cause for Rape in the First Degree and Rape in the Third Degree, police said.

Police in Eugene had investigated a report of a rape August 23, 2005, involving Van Arkel, then 25; and a 16-year-old girl, police said.

Evidence gathered during the investigation - often called a "rape kit" - was sent to the Oregon State Police Crime Lab.

But thousands of kits went untested for a variety of reasons. Some were never sent to the crime lab at all.

A recent effort to process the evidence got a boost from federal grant money.

The movement to test the kits has numerous perceived benefits, according to advocates, including identifying suspects through DNA.

In September 2016, Eugene Police received information from the Oregon State Police Forensic Laboratory of a possible connection to Van Arkel in the 2005 case.

He was later located in Nevada and taken into custody, police said.

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