By Kelly Young

kyoung@jacksonvilleprogress.com

The Jacksonville Police Department is investigating a sexual assault which allegedly occurred last Wednesday; however, investigators said they believe the person who was identified by the victim has fled the country.

Jose Barrientos Perez, a 48 year-old Hispanic male is being sought for questioning in the case.

According to Detective Jason Price, the crime occurred the morning of Feb. 20 and was reported by the victim that afternoon.

“We are currently looking for Mr. Perez, but we have received information that he has already returned to Mexico. His citizenship status is unclear at this time. He has not returned to work since the incident was reported,” Price said. “Forensic evidence was collected at the scene pursuant to a search warrant, and pending the DNA results coming back from the lab, that evidence could confirm her story.”

Detective Daniel Franklin said if JPD is unable to contact Perez, they will likely continue investigating the incident and eventually submit the case to the district attorney’s office.

“More than likely it will be sent down to the DA’s office for grand jury presentation. We will see if they can get an indictment in the case,” Franklin said. “The reason we want to take this to grand jury is because there is no statute of limitations on an indictment warrant; so if he comes back in 30 years it will still be an active case.”

For now the department is still trying to contact Perez and is waiting for the DNA evidence to return from the Department of Public Safety lab in Garland.