A man suspected of abducting, robbing and sexually assaulting a Gasoline Alley hotel worker is being held in custody after surrendering to police in Edmonton late Friday night.
Blackfalds RCMP issued a province-wide alert on Wednesday morning after learning that a 20-year-old woman had been forced from her vehicle at knifepoint at 12:20 a.m., just after finishing her shift.
Police allege that he pushed her into the passenger seat of her SUV, and then got behind the wheel and drove first to Westerner Park and then to a CIBC bank at the south side of Red Deer.
Investigators allege that the woman was then forced to withdraw cash from the bank’s automated teller and was driven afterward into the countryside near Penhold, where she was sexually assaulted. She was dropped off later on a convenience store in the Inglewood subdivision of Red Deer and the suspect is alleged to have driven away in her vehicle.
The SUV was recovered at 8:20 a.m. from a construction site in Gasoline Alley.
A composite drawing of the attacker was released on that day. Police announced on Friday that they had identified a suspect and released a photograph of Justin Chase Mueller, 28, along with information that he may have headed for Edmonton.
Blackfalds RCMP reported early on Saturday that Mueller phoned the Edmonton Police Service at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, indicating that he wished to turn himself in. He was arrested without incident and transported to Blackfalds, said Cpl. Barry Larocque, a media officer for the Blackfalds RCMP.
“A lot of people did a lot of good work and we had some luck built into it,” Larocque said of the investigation on Saturday.
“The young lady herself was awesome in terms of providing us what we needed to move forward with our investigation.”
She suffered no physical injuries, but will have some emotional pain for a long period of time, he said.
The hotel worker’s name is withheld under Criminal Code provisions protecting the identities of sexual assault victims.
Mueller is charged with armed sexual assault, armed robbery, kidnapping, uttering threats and theft of goods worth more than $5,000.
He was to make an initial appearance before a justice of the peace on Saturday, with his first appearance in provincial court to be scheduled afterward.