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Suspect wanted in rape
Man was deported before link found

LAWRENCEVILLE - Indictments were handed down by a Gwinnett County grand jury Thursday in a brutal 2007 home invasion, rape and robbery.

The only problem is, the suspect is in Mexico.

Isreal Santiago Hernandez is charged with 18 offenses, including aggravated sodomy, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and battery in the October 2007 incident in which police say he and two cohorts terrorized a Norcross family in their own home.

It is unclear when authorities believe Hernandez entered the mobile home on Buford Highway, but they believe two men - wearing masks and armed with handguns - forced their way inside before letting a third suspect in through the back door.

Two of the men, said Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, pistol whipped the man who answered the door before tying him up, along with his son and a woman, with electrical cords. A short time later, the man's two other sons came home and were also tied up.

That's when police believe the three men did the unthinkable, taking the woman into a bedroom, each of them sodomizing and raping her before robbing the group and making off with $3,100 cash and assorted jewelry.

The following day, Porter said, police in South Carolina caught up with Hernandez and he was arrested on drug charges. At that point, however, he wasn't a suspect in the Gwinnett home invasion. He served a short stint in the South Carolina Department of Corrections, where his DNA was taken, before being deported.

After Hernandez was safe and sound back in Mexico, Porter said, authorities, running sexual assault kit results through the Combined DNA Index System, learned that the sample taken by South Carolina authorities and left at the Norcross crime scene were one and the same.

The other DNA samples, Porter said, will be submitted to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's crime lab when Hernandez is back in custody.

Porter said he hopes the U.S. Marshals Service will take an interest in the case because the DNA evidence has also implicated Hernandez in another home invasion/rape in Alabama, and the the rape of a Georgia teen.