Sacramento serial-rape suspect from early 1990s arrested after DNA match, officials say

A suspected serial rapist who committed at least three violent crimes in Sacramento and Davis in the early 1990s has been arrested after local and federal investigators linked his DNA to the crimes.

Mark Manteuffel, 59, a retired federal corrections officer, was arrested Friday outside his home in Decatur, Ga., 27 years after his first alleged rape in Sacramento, local officials said.

Manteuffel, who is a former Sacramento State student and former part-time lecturer there, is believed to have brutally sexually assaulted three women here between 1992 and 1994, local officials said at a news conference held Monday afternoon at Sacramento police headquarters.

Officials said their investigation remains open. They are asking for help from anyone who has further information about Manteuffel or crimes he may have committed. Manteuffel was in Georgia custody on Monday, authorities said. His extradition to California is expected in the coming days.

Manteuffel “will be brought back (to Sacramento) to face a host of charges,” Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

The first victim, a 52-year-old Rosemont resident, was attacked in May, 1992 in her home by a man who had been there waiting for her to return. He assaulted her for three hours before leaving.

The second victim was bound and sexually assaulted by a masked intruder in her East Sacramento home in March, 1994.

In both cases, Manteuffel will be charged with torture with use of a knife, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. Schubert announced seven charges in total, including four counts of multiple rapes while using a knife to cause great bodily injury; and a single count of sodomy with great bodily injury caused by a knife.

The other assault took place in Davis in January, 1994. A 22-year-old college student was jogging to a local market to get dinner when she was grabbed by a masked man who used a stun gun and dragged her away to commit “monstrous crimes,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said.

Reisig said he is still determining how many charges he will file, but said the main charges of kidnapping during the commission of a robbery carry a potential life sentence.

The arrest is the third in 15 months by local law enforcement using DNA from genealogy companies.

In April 2018, local and federal officials arrested Joseph DeAngelo, 72, outside his Citrus Heights home after matching his DNA with that found at numerous crimes committed by the notorious East Area Rapist in the Sacramento area and the Golden State Killer in Southern California. Those crimes occurred in the 1970s and 1980s.

Local officials later last year used DNA evidence to arrest Roy Charles Waller, 59, and to charge him with 45 assaults allegedly committed by the NorCal Rapist between 1991 and 2006 in six local counties counties.

Sacramento County DA Schubert heralded this arrest and those of DeAngelo and Waller as evidence that dogged investigation coupled with evolving DNA technology is making it harder for criminals to get away with violent crime.

Schubert said local officials used the DNA evidence from the rapes 19 years ago to obtain the first DNA-based “John Doe” arrest warrant in the state, thus creating a placeholder charge just before the legal statute of limitations lapsed.

Schubert said she and investigators were inspired by reading a story in The Sacramento Bee about a Wisconsin prosecutor who had done the same there using DNA evidence.

With Monday’s announcement, the suspect in the first of those Sacramento “John Doe” cases finally had a name.

“I am proud to say we have put a face to that DNA profile,” Schubert said. “A silent witness has spoken.”

She declined to offer details about which relative’s DNA led to Manteuffel. FBI officials said they recently followed the suspect and collected his DNA from a restaurant. The victims have been notified, officials said, and are relieved and emotional.

“Crimes like this alter the lives of victims and their families in incredible ways,” Yolo DA Reisig said. “These crimes also haunt communities, and this crime has haunted the community of Davis for 25 years.”

Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel is among them. He was a young Davis officer who lived on the same greenbelted block where the violent attack happened and remembers how it changed the city’s notion of safety. But Pytel’s department had the evidence of the brutal 1994 attack. Pytel said the Davis Police Department keeps rape kit evidence for years, holding out hope for a lead and an arrest even after cases appear to have grown cold.

That paid off again with Monday’s arrest.

Reisig echoed Schubert’s statement that DNA technology is now catching up with criminals from decades ago.

“The news today is that predators and monsters can’t hide forever any longer,” he said. “The clock is ticking on these criminals.”

Sacramento State Chief of Police Mark Iwasa confirmed Monday that Manteuffel was a student at the school in the 1980s and worked as a part-time faculty member in the fall of 1993.

Manteuffel later worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Atlanta, Oklahoma City and Miami before retiring from his $120,000-a-year job in 2014, according to FederalPay.org.

Editor’s note: This story was updated July 2, 2019, to correct the first name of Davis Police Chief Darren Pytel.

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Tony Bizjak has been reporting for The Bee for 30 years. He covers transportation, housing and development and previously was the paper’s City Hall beat reporter.
Darrell Smith covers courts and California news for The Sacramento Bee. He joined The Bee in 2006 and previously worked at newspapers in Palm Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Marysville. A Sacramento Valley native, Smith was born and raised at Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville.