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‘You can’t unsee this’: Homeless man accused of sexually assaulting, murdering autistic woman in California

Source: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office

Feb. 14 2022, Published 10:16 a.m. ET

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A homeless man is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering a woman who family describes as having autism, authorities said.

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On Jan. 27 around noon, Emma Roark left her Rancho Cordova home and vanished.

“She went for a walk to the river and never came back,” Celeste Roark, the 20-year-old woman’s mother, said on a GoFundMe.

Emma Roark’s body was located near the American River after a four-day search, KCRA reported.

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According to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jim Barnes, Emma Roark was the victim of “a very gruesome crime.”

“You can’t unsee this. This is as bad as it gets,” Barnes said.


On Feb. 11, investigators announced they arrested Mikilo Morgan Rawls, a 37-year-old transient with an extensive criminal history, after DNA evidence linked him to the the sexual assault and murder, police said.

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“This is the monster who killed my daughter,” Celeste Roark wrote on Facebook following Rawls’ arrest. “May he never have a moments rest in prison.”

Rawls was being held without bail at the Sacramento County jail on charges of murder, rape and sodomy.

Barnes said that while the sheriff’s office is “sympathetic” to the transient population in the area "there is evil amongst them...And that's what Mr. Rawls was."

Source: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office

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