Courtesy Melissa Baum 
The Lindsey Baum Memorial Garden at Beerbower Park is festooned with balloons, signs and toys on Saturday, the 12th anniversary of her disappearance from McCleary. She was 10 when she disappeared. Her remains were found in Kittitas County in 2018.

Courtesy Melissa Baum The Lindsey Baum Memorial Garden at Beerbower Park is festooned with balloons, signs and toys on Saturday, the 12th anniversary of her disappearance from McCleary. She was 10 when she disappeared. Her remains were found in Kittitas County in 2018.

2003 McCleary rape, abduction case suspect out on $250K bail

The man arrested June 15 after DNA evidence linked him to a 2003 McCleary rape and kidnapping case was released from jail on Wednesday after posting bail.

At a June 23 hearing, Grays Harbor County Prosecutor’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor Jason Walker told the court that Paul James Bieker’s $250,000 bail had been met.

During the hearing, a letter from the victim’s husband was referenced, in which he described the lingering impacts the March 6, 2003, incident has caused the then-17-year-old victim and her family — the isolation, the fear — and the fear the suspect could be walking free so soon after being identified.

“The fact that last Monday we were living our lives as normal and now a week later we are dealing with the possibility that this monster could be released is hard to comprehend,” the letter stated. “We are asking that Paul Bieker’s bail be increased substantially. If released on bail, please institute home confinement with GPS monitoring.”

According to the minutes of the June 23 hearing, the court did not adjust the bail amount because the bond had already been approved. Walker said he wanted a restriction limiting Bieker’s movements to King, Pierce, Thurston and Grays Harbor counties added to the terms of his release. Bieker’s attorney, Jared Ausserer, countered that Bieker’s movements be limited to Western Washington.

In the end, Superior Court Judge David Mistachkin included limiting Bieker’s movements to the four counties Walker recommended. Bieker was released after an updated protection order was served.

The arrest

According to Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Brad Johansson, DNA collected in December 2020 from the victim was submitted by Chief Darrin Wallace for genealogy testing.

“The testing revealed a short list of possible suspects that were believed to be related to the source of the suspect DNA,” said Johansson. “Investigators learned that (Bieker) lived in McCleary in 2003 at a residence not far from the victim’s residence. They were also able to identify more circumstantial evidence that linked Bieker to the crime.”

Wallace and Detective Sgt. Paul Logan placed Bieker under surveillance. According to amended court information filed June 15, they were able to collect two coffee cups discarded by Bieker and submitted those to the Washington State Patrol crime lab June 3, 2021.

“On June 9, 2021, the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab submitted a report which stated that the DNA sample obtained from (the victim) matched the sample from the coffee cup, and that the chances of selecting an unrelated individual at random from the U.S. population was one in 35 quadrillion,” read the amended information filing.

The attack

Warrant paperwork filed against the unknown attacker filed after a DNA profile was developed in October 2010 paints a terrifying picture of the events faced by the then 17-year-old victim on March 6, 2003.

After leaving work, the victim parked in a detached garage at her home. After leaving the garage an adult male grabbed her, forcing her back into the garage, and pushed her to the ground, kicking and punching her.

The suspect bound her head and hands with tape, and used nylon wire ties on her feet before attempting to put her in the trunk of her car, but the lid wouldn’t shut so he forced her into the back seat. The victim managed to kick her attacker, who threatened to stop and shoot her if she did it again.

The victim said she believed the car was headed out of town. At one point, she tried to get the attacker to take the tape off of her mouth, telling him she couldn’t breathe and holding her breath.

“The attacker stopped the car, poked her in the eyes, and slapped her until she acted as if she was breathing again,” read the court document. “The suspect told (the victim) that if she didn’t start breathing that he would just continue slapping her.”

After sexually assaulting the victim, the attacker drove back to the fire hall on Elma-Hicklin Road.

“The suspect left (the victim) in the vehicle and warned her that if she called the police or if she told anyone within 24 hours that her dad would be dead and the house would be burned down and the rest of her life would be miserable,” read the court documents.

He cut the ties from her wrists, and after a time the victim was able to free herself enough to drive home.

When she arrived, she honked her car horn to alert her father.

“When the father arrived at the car he found that (the victim) had duct tape on her and she had a nylon wire tie around her ankles holding her feet together,” read the court document.

After freeing her and bringing her back into the home, the victim “was upset and was running around the house locking the doors and shutting the window shades, and she kept saying that, ‘he was watching,’” according to the document.

The authorities were called and the victim underwent a sexual assault exam, where the attacker’s DNA was collected. It was entered into the nationwide criminal database, but no match was found at the time.

Deputies are still looking into any possible connections between the crime Bieker is charged with and the June 2009 abduction and murder of 10-year-old Lindsey Baum in McCleary. Her partial remains were found in Kittitas County in 2018.

Saturday marked the 12th anniversary of Baum’s death, and her mother, Melissa Baum, took to Facebook to ask that residents leave notes and little gifts for her daughter at the Lindsey Baum Memorial Garden in Beerbower Park.