Police have arrested a 16-year-old for the alleged rape and murder of a 5-year-old Roseburg girl.
Dustin Michael Wallace
has been lodged at the Douglas County Jail.
Officers responded to 937 W. Elaine Ave. at 4:48 a.m. today following a call that a girl was unconscious and not breathing. Paramedics tried to resuscitate her but were unsuccessful. She was declared dead at the scene.
Police cars and neighbors were clustered outside the home by about 9 this morning. A man outside the home said the dead child was his niece, Sahara Dwight.
Roseburg Police Department Sgt. Aaron Dunbar said at the scene that the emergency call came from a family member in the residence at the time. He said he didn't know how long the girl had been unconscious.
While Dunbar spoke, a man wearing plaid shorts, a T-shirt and ball cap ran up to the officers.
“Where's my daughter at, dude?” he asked another man at the scene.
“Where are my kids? Where's my little girl?” he asked, before identifying himself as Tyler Dwight, the girl's father.
“You can't go in there right now,” a police officer told him as he approached the house. Dwight walked away a second and then returned. “Is my little girl alive?” he asked the officer, his voice cracking with emotion.
“No,” the officer responded softly. Dwight turned away. Two men walked over and put their hands on his shoulders to comfort him. Roseburg Police Lt. Pat Moore, who had been standing nearby, pulled aside Dwight and talked to him. Dwight said later he didn't live with his daughter.
At about noon today, Roseburg Police Department sent out a press release saying they had arrested Wallace on suspicion of aggravated murder, first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse, and first-degree unlawful sexual penetration. Wallace was one of five people at the residence when officers arrived there early this morning.
Police say he was not related to the victim but was staying at the residence at the time.
On the scene this morning, Douglas County Deputy Medical Examiner Jenni Gall, wearing blue paper booties, wrote information on paper attached to a clipboard. Neighbors stood outside in nearby front yards of other similar light yellow duplexes and houses in the Housing Authority of Douglas County complex.
About 9:15 a.m., Gall pulled a gurney out of the back of a black van. She and Moore rolled it up to the door of the duplex. Moments later, they rolled out the gurney bearing the young girl's body, covered by a blanket.
Another man standing by, Nathan Meyer, said Sahara Dwight was his niece.
Meyer, who lives with his parents in Roseburg, said they'd gotten a call from Sahara's mother, Lydia Dwight, at about 4:30 this morning.
“She was really distraught,” Meyer said. “We didn't even know what she was saying. She just said, ‘Get over here.'”
When he arrived, Meyer said he saw “everybody crying and the police.”
Meyer said he thought that Lydia Dwight's boyfriend and her 2-year-old son also were home at the time the 911 call was made.
He said no one had told him what may have happened. “She just stopped breathing,” he said of his niece.
“She was a sweetheart,” Meyer said of 5-year-old Sahara. “She had tons of energy. She was always running around doing things. She was always happy and really smart.”
Meyer also recalled that his niece loved to watch cartoons, ride her scooter and jump on her grandparents' trampoline.