Man Charged with Attempted Murder, Accused of Stabbing Woman He Met Online

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Police arrested a Marion man they believe sexually assaulted and stabbed a woman who was found in the stairwell of a southeast Cedar Rapids apartment complex Sunday evening.

Bryan Roche, 21, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping, sexual abuse and attempted murder Tuesday afternoon. Officers were called around 7 p.m. Sunday to 1627 Second Avenue SE to discover a 20-year-old female in the stairwell who had been sexually assaulted and stabbed.

Police said Roche kept the victim at this location for about two hours, beginning around 5 p.m. During this time period, authorities said Roche choked her, tied her up and sexually assaulted her. Officials said Roche stabbed her two times, in the abdomen and neck, causing life-threatening injuries. She was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

Police said after Roche left, the victim went into the hallway where she was found by neighbors.

According to officials the two met through an online social media website. Sgt. Cristy Hamblin was not sure the relationship between Roche and the woman, or if this was the first time they had met.

Officials want to remind the public of safety factors when meeting someone through social media sites. They suggest not revealing personal information, such as where you live or where you work and the hours you work. Also, to meet in public places like restaurants and malls, and to check their name through Iowa Courts Online and search engines – also, be aware the name they give may not be their true name.

Authorities also suggest telling a friend when and where you are meeting the person, and set a time frame that you will call after the meeting. To always keep your cell phone with you, have a friend call during the meeting and pre-arrange an emergency phrase that will signify to your friend you are not comfortable and/or you need help. Lastly, to trust your instincts, if you don't feel comfortable, leave.

The incident remains under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Linn County Crime Stoppers at 800-272-7463, or send a text message to CRIMES (274637) with 5527 in the subject/message area and the tip. All calls are anonymous.
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