Crime

Cops: Homestead man kidnapped, raped woman before being caught in Key Largo

A Homestead man remained in the Keys jail Friday with no bond allowed after he was arrested Thursday on charges of kidnapping and repeatedly raping a woman in Key Largo.

Duglas Hernandez Morel, 33, is charged with rape and kidnapping, among other things.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says it received calls from witnesses around 4 p.m. from Gilbert's Resort around mile marker 107 that a man forced a woman into a sport utility vehicle. The callers told dispatchers the woman was asking for help and the man threatened them with a baseball bat when they tried helping her.

They said the man forced the woman back into the SUV and they left southbound on U.S. 1. Deputy Matt Koval spotted the vehicle at mile marker 102 and followed it as it turned left into Trade Winds Plaza at mile marker 101.4.

When Morel parked, Koval pulled behind him and saw Morel and the woman, 34, inside. The man was holding the woman by her hair and he was forcing her head up and down in his lap, Deputy Becky Herrin said.

Koval ordered Morel out of the SUV gunpoint. The woman, "crying and obviously afraid," Herrin said, said Morel had kidnapped her from ex-boyfriend's house in Homestead. On the way south, he reportedly stopped several times to force her to have sex.

Homestead police are also investigating the case and more charges are pending regarding the crimes that took place there.

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