Santa Cruz County

Arrest made in Watsonville cold case

Man accused of sexually assaulting developmentally disabled woman

WATSONVILLE, Calif. - The Watsonville Police Department is reopening a rape case from 2001 after new evidence helped investigators identify a suspect.

Police said forensic evidence led them to 39-year-old David Saavedra. He used to live in Watsonville, but is currently being held in the Fresno County Jail on unrelated charges.

According to police, Saavedra sexually assaulted a 20-year-old developmentally disabled woman in May of 2001. At the time, detectives investigated the case for several months until it went cold. It had been suspended until late August of this year when police received a lead based on forensic evidence send to them by the California Department of Justice DNA laboratory.

Detectives were then able to get a search and arrest warrant for Saavedra.

During the latest investigation into Saavedra, officers discovered another WPD case connected to the same suspect from 2010. It involved a sexual assault of an 8-year-old girl from Watsonville. Saavedra was also arrested for this case.

Saavedra is being held at the Fresno County Jail on a $500,000 warrant for both cases.

He will be sent back to Santa Cruz County to face the charges against him in the future.

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