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Transient accused of kidnapping, raping woman, police say

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There are still many questions surrounding the disappearance and return of Carlee Russell in Alabama.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A transient living in a van has been arrested for allegedly raping a woman and threatening to hold her hostage for a week, according to police.

Investigators believe Johnnie David Murray, 57, may also be tied to other sexual assaults in the city.

Murray was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Thursday for investigation of rape, two counts of forcible sodomy, kidnapping and obstructing justice.

According to a police affidavit, Murray invited a woman into the van he was living in and then offered her drugs. He became angry with the woman, however, for refusing his drugs, the affidavit states.

“(Murray) wanted the victim to take drugs so she would enjoy the sex according to the victim,” the affidavit notes.

The woman attempted to leave, but the door handle on the van was broken, the affidavit states, and Murray then raped the woman and threatened her several times “with a needle filled with drugs and with a hunting knife. The victim stated that (Murray) told her he could kill her and told her ‘Don’t tempt me.’”

Murray told the woman that “if she didn’t do what he wanted then he would tie her to the bed and keep her in his van for a week,” according to the affidavit.

According to police, Murray “is currently being investigated for three other separate sexual assault investigations.”

Murray has an extensive criminal history, according to court records, including numerous arrests and convictions for theft and drug-related crimes.