VANCOUVER Police have solved a series of cold-case sex assaults dating back more than 14 years, leading to the arrest of a suspect in four historical crimes.
Arturo Garcia Gorjon has now been charged with four counts of sexual assault, related to crimes that occurred between July 1, 2009 and December 24, 2011. Gorjon’s next court date is August 17.
“Even when a case goes cold, we never stop investigating, and we never give up hope that we will one day find the missing clue that will solve a crime,” said Deputy Chief Constable Fiona Wilson, VPD Investigation Division, on Wednesday.
“I hope this arrest and these charges begins to provide the answers and accountability that has been missing for so many years.”
The investigation dates back to the early hours of Canada Day in 2009, when a 20-year-old woman was attacked and sexually assaulted by a stranger while walking near Granville Island. The suspect fled before VPD officers arrived.
A second attack occurred on November 15, 2009, when a 25-year-old woman was sexually assaulted while entering an apartment building in the West End. Then, seven months later, a third woman was attacked in Yaletown.
Vancouver Police immediately launched investigations into all three cases. Though it was clear someone was targeting young women in the city, there was initially no evidence to conclusively link the three cases, and the identity of the attacker remained unknown.
“It is an intensely personal decision for any victim of violent crime to come forward and share their story with police,” noted Wilson. “We owe it to those who come forward to do everything we can to support them, to identify the people responsible, and to hold those offenders accountable.”
In 2011, Vancouver Police launched Project Scrimmage, with hopes of finding new evidence that could lead to a break in the three cases. That break finally came this January, when VPD obtained evidence linking the three unsolved sex assaults to a fourth cold-case that occurred in the downtown core on Christmas Eve in 2010.
Those links quickly led VPD investigators to a 45-year-old suspect who was in Regina.
“On July 21, our investigators travelled to Saskatchewan, arrested the suspect, and brought him back to Vancouver to face charges,” said Wilson, who thanked Regina Police Service’s Vice Unit for assisting in locating the suspect.