On January 17, 2019, Newport Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop a male passenger exited the passenger seat of the violator vehicle and walked away. At the time of stop, officers did not have a lawful reason to detain the passenger. During contact with the driver, Officers discovered she was a missing and endangered person out of California.
A criminal investigation was initiated and Officers learned that Lawson Reed Rankin, 35 year old California resident, was the passenger inside the vehicle that walked away. Officers further discovered that Lawson Rankin was a wanted fugitive in connection with the Missing Person out of California. Newport Police Department continued a criminal investigation involving the circumstances, which led to the driver of the vehicle being listed as Missing out of California.
The investigation revealed the missing person was held against her will for an extended period of time by Rankin, and transported from California to Oregon. On January 22, 2019 Newport Police Department obtained an Indictment warrant charging Lawson Rankin with Kidnapping in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Rape in the First Degree, Sodomy in the First Degree, Strangulation, Coercion, Endangering a Person Protected a Family Abuse Prevention Act Restraining Order, Assault in the Fourth Degree, and Causing Another Person to Ingest a Controlled Substance.
On January 23, 2019, with the assistance from the US Marshals and the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Lawson Rankin was located in Toledo, Oregon and taken into custody. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office K9 “Nix” assisted in the apprehension of Lawson Rankin. Lawson Rankin was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on a “No Bail” warrant. The name of the female driver from the traffic stop is being withheld at this time. The criminal investigation is continuing.
Information and photo provided by NPD