Alleged kidnapper accused of chaining woman in cinder block cell once lived in Oakland: Officials

The suspect, who's accused of drugging victims' drinks and impersonating police officers, once lived in the Bay Area.

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Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Man accused in kidnap, cinder block cell lived in Oakland: Officials
Investigators say the man arrested for allegedly kidnapping and chaining a woman in an Oregon cinder block cell and later escaped has Bay Area ties.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The man who was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and chaining a woman in an Oregon cinder block cell has Bay Area ties, investigators said on Wednesday. ABC7 News has learned the suspect, 29-year-old Negasi Zuberi, once lived in Oakland.

The woman escaped from the Oregon home and now there's a nationwide investigation.

"The disturbing evidence uncovered to date points to an individual's ongoing an escalating pattern of violence targeting women in multiple states throughout the country," said FBI Special Agent In Charge Stephanie Shark.

The investigation began two-and-a-half weeks ago.

VIDEO: Kidnapped woman escapes from cinderblock cage in Oregon; FBI looks for more possible victims

A man who posed as an undercover police officer kidnapped a woman in Seattle, drove her hundreds of miles to his home in Oregon and locked her in a makeshift cell in his garage be

The woman, who is from Seattle, says she was kidnapped and driven to a home in Klamath Falls, Oregon which is 450 miles away. That's about a seven hour drive.

The FBI says the woman was chained up in a cinder block cell and sexually assaulted.

Investigators say the homemade cell was located in the garage and there was only one light bulb.

The woman managed to escape and get help.

Zuberi was later arrested in Reno and indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for the alleged kidnapping of the Seattle woman.

ABC News has learned the suspect is accused of drugging victim's drinks and impersonating police officers. Investigators believe both of those actions happened in this case.

The FBI tells us the suspect has lived in 10 different states and that he lived at numerous locations in the Oakland area from 2012 to 2018.

On Wednesday morning, the agency gave gripping details about how the Seattle woman heroically freed herself.

"The woman fought for her life beating the doors and the walls of this cell with bloodied hands," Shark said. "Though her perseverance she broke free and waived down a passing motorist asking for their help to call 911. The victim's focus, actions, and her will to survive triggered a law enforcement response that may have actually saved many other women from a similar nightmare."

According to officials, Zuberi has multiple aliases, including Justin Hyche, which the FBI says he went by for most of his life.

Investigators believe there are potentially more victims out there and they are asking for them to come forward.

If you or someone you know may have been victimized by this suspect, the FBI is asking that you to go to their website to fill out a form.

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