Los Angeles

DNA Leads to Arrest in Northridge Cold Case Kidnapping

The victim was walking to school with another boy when a man armed with a handgun confronted them.

A man allegedly linked through DNA evidence to the 2001 kidnapping and sexually assault of a 14-year-old boy in the San Fernando Valley pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony charges and was ordered held on $1 million bail.

Mirek Voyt, 55, of Hollywood was arrested at his home on Tuesday, according to Los Angeles Police Department Capt. William Hayes, who announced the arrest at a news conference at downtown police headquarters.

Voyt was arraigned on one count each of kidnapping to commit oral copulation by force or fear and forcible oral copulation, with an allegation that he used a handgun during the commission of the crimes, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Although DNA evidence was obtained at the time of the crime, a match was not made until Voyt was arrested on suspicion of grand theft late last year and his DNA was obtained and run through a state database, according to Hayes, commanding officer of the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division.

The victim was walking to school with another boy about 9:45 a.m. on June 22, 2001, near the intersection of Chase Street and Vanalden Avenue in Northridge when a man armed with a handgun confronted them, according to Hayes.

One of the boys managed to flee but the other was kidnapped, taken to an unknown location and sexually assaulted before he was released, the captain said.

Voyt lived within a short distance of the intersection where the abduction occurred, and investigators allege he took the boy to his home after abducting him and blindfolding him.

At the time of his arrest, Voyt was working in a management position for a grocery store chain, and since 2001 has lived in various locations in the Los Angeles area, the captain said.

Hayes said investigators fear Voyt may have victimized others. Sexual assault crimes involving males often go unreported, "and we want them to know we are willing to work with them and help them in any way ....,'' he said.

He displayed photos of the suspect from 1997, 2012 and 2017, and said all investigations would be handled confidentially.

"When you look at a predator of this nature and the violence that occurred in 2001, although he's remained off the radar in terms of other criminal acts, one would find it hard to believe that that was the only time,'' Hayes said. "So that's why we are trying to be cautious and go out there.''

Anyone with information about the suspect was urged to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS. Tips can be made anonymously.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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