Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Rain 33° Rain
News >  Spokane

Man facing Spokane rape charge disappears


Desautel
 (The Spokesman-Review)
Desautel (The Spokesman-Review)
Steven R. Neuman Staff writer

Authorities in Okanogan County are searching for a missing 35-year-old man after his horse, truck and trailer were found Sunday near a boat launch outside Elmer City.

Tony W. Desautel was last seen driving in the area around 4 p.m. on Saturday. Desautel is very familiar with the area and has been riding his horses there for years, authorities say.

Desautel is scheduled to stand trial on kidnapping and attempted rape charges July 18 in Spokane County Superior Court.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said deputies were notified when a neighbor recognized Desautel’s horse splashing in the water, still saddled, but without a rider.

A press release listed his address as both Coulee Dam and Spokane.

Authorities, including the Colville Confederated Tribes’ police and parks departments, and Okanogan County Search and Rescue, have been searching on land and in the water since Sunday. Police have used aircraft, all-terrain vehicles, dogs and divers. Rogers said the search would continue today.

“Nothing seems to indicate foul play,” Rogers said.

Desautel is accused of imprisoning a woman at gunpoint at his home, The Spokesman-Review previously reported. He then tied her to a bed and attempted to rape her, before driving her to a wooded area about eight miles north of Coulee Dam, court documents allege.

Documents state that Desautel eventually untied the woman, apologized, gave her the keys to his truck and told her to leave. The woman told police she heard a gunshot and continued on, but used a cell phone to call tribal police. Officers later found Desautel alive with a bullet wound in his chest.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.