San Diego Police cruiser
A San Diego police cruiser. Photo courtesy OnScene.TV

A man who allegedly abducted a woman in a South Bay neighborhood this week, held her captive, threatened her with a gun and sexually assaulted her in a home with a dead body in it was behind bars Thursday.

Rafael Reyes Banda, 44, was booked early Thursday morning on suspicion of kidnapping and rape by force, according to the San Diego Police Department.

The events that led to Banda’s arrest began shortly after noon Wednesday, when a 43-year-old woman made an emergency call to report that she had been abducted at gunpoint at Palm Avenue and Saturn Boulevard in the Egger Highlands area by a man she had known for about a week, SDPD Lt. Jud Campbell said.

The woman told investigators the kidnapper had held her captive at a home in the 2200 block of Citrus Avenue in the Palm City neighborhood for a roughly 24-hour period, during which he sexually assaulted her and threatened her with the gun. She said she was eventually able to escape and flag down a passing motorist.

She also told police that there had been a dead woman inside the residence during the ordeal, Campbell said.

After contacting and speaking with the alleged victim, officers went to the home, where they found Banda and detained him.

“When officers checked inside the residence, they located what appeared to be a deceased (woman),” the lieutenant said Thursday afternoon. “(She) remains unidentified, and her exact race and age are unknown. At this stage of the investigation, it is unclear what caused her death.”

Homicide detectives were called in to investigate the suspicious fatality.