Los Angeles, CA (KABC) – After several months of searching for the fugitive accused of raping and kidnapping a University of California, Irvine sorority sister, FBI agents have obtained evidence in the case that caused them to issue an arrest warrant.
“Our agent in residence in Irvine has one of the primary focuses in the world is the search for and apprehension of this predator,” said William Sherman, the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office.
Brian Levin, a professor at Cal State San Bernardino and a former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy, said the arrest warrant was probably the most significant development in the case yet.
“That’s very encouraging, that’s a nice demonstration of support by the FBI,” he said.
Investigators found petite, dark-haired Brian Lamar Riendeau in April in the condo of a girlfriend who said she had concerns about Riendeau for many years, which eventually led to his arrest warrant.
“He was evasive in his answers. He indicated during the course of this interview that he was carrying a weapon when we initially stopped him. We don’t believe he actually had the weapon, but was evasive in his answers about where he was going, when and how he got there,” Sherman said.
“He was deeply involved in both the sexual assault and kidnapping of the victim, and he had been engaging in his own crimes in the sense that he was falsifying documents to further those violent crimes,” added Asst. Deputy U.S. Marshal Jennifer Blanton.
Riendeau was arrested in November on suspicion of raping and kidnapping Petit who was the homecoming queen at University of California, Irvine.
The suspect fled to his native Arkansas before he was caught in Minnesota. When asked what the motivation was for the fugitive to travel more than 7,000 miles to his home in Minnesota, the U.S. Attorney’s Office had no comment on the reason.
Riendeau is also accused of a string of other violent crimes in North Carolina where he lived between 1995 and 2001.
If you have any information concerning Brian Riendeau you are urged to contact the FBI at (310) 477-6565 or (866) 890-4049. You can also text “FBI” plus your tip to CRIMES (274637) to report anonymously. You can also view the complete press release from the FBI here.