Posing as an undercover cop, 29-year-old Negasi Zuberi was able to successfully kidnap a woman in Seattle, Was, and transport her back to a makeshift “jail” cell in his garage back in Oregon. Made of cinderblocks and poorly welded metal, she was able to beat on the structure until her hands were bloodied and escaped.
Per a criminal complaint filed in US District Court, in the early AM of July 15th, Zuberi approached the victim, identified as Adult Victim 1. Using the guise of attempting to solicit prostitution along Aurora Street in Seattle, an area known for illicit activity, he then identified himself as an undercover cop and produced a badge. Armed with a stun gun, he then placed her in handcuffs and leg irons before putting her inside the back of his vehicle.
Stopping along the way to sexually assault her, he eventually took her back to his residence in Oregon. According to the complaint, she was placed into his makeshift cell roughly seven hours after she was first snatched. Claiming he was leaving to do paperwork, he locked her in this makeshift cage. Per the report, she was able to sleep for a short time, only to awaken to the realization that she would likely die if she stayed in that cage.
Punching the door repeatedly, she broke some of the welds and created a small opening that she was able to escape through. With several cuts on her knuckles, she was now in his garage. Seeing his car, she looked inside it, found a gun, and proceeded to escape over a wooden fence, leaving a strong set of blood marks and trails behind her. Flagging down a passing motorist, who called 911 and was able to successfully get someone there to help.
The next day in Reno, two Nevada State Patrol officers were able to track down Zuberi at a local Walmart in Reno the next day. Sitting in his car with one of his kids in his arms in the front seat, his wife was standing outside the vehicle talking to him. Initially refusing to get out of the vehicle, he attempted to destroy his cell phone and proceeded to cut himself with a sharp object. Eventually, he did surrender, and the child remained unharmed.
Raiding his home, they quickly discovered Zuberi’s makeshift cell, the handbag of the women, along with a series of notes and a manifest titled “Operation Take Over.”
Included in the notes was a bullet list of entries about how to perform his mission. Included were notes reminding himself to “Leave phone at home” as well as the tip to “Make sure they don’t have a bunch of ppl (sic) in their life. You don’t want any type of investigation.” Another one included a rough sketch for an underground cell constructed of cinderblocks, foam insulation, and waterproof concrete.
The FBI has since uncovered that Zuberi has been known as Sakima, Justin Hyche, and Justin Kouassi. He has also bounced around the US since 2016. In that short timeframe, he is alleged to have resided in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Utah, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Alabama, and Nevada. He has also reportedly been known to drug various women’s drinks.
To say that this man is a serial criminal would be an understatement. This is why the FBI has set up a website to help identify potential victims of Zuberi and to help ensure he faces justice for all of his crimes.
In a seemingly odd twist, the Klamath Falls residence where he constructed his makeshift jail and took his victim is owned by the city’s mayor Carol Westfall and her husband, Kevin, according to county property records. Backing up to a park and along a residential street, the house blended in perfectly.