Local News

Walmart purchase linked sex assault suspect

Posted July 28, 2010

— Investigators used a debit card purchase at a local Walmart to link a Garner man accused of kidnapping two women and sexually assaulting one of them, according to search warrants returned Tuesday.

Daniel Robert Muller, 24, of 1097 Black Angus Drive, faces two counts of first-degree kidnapping and one count each of first-degree sexual assault and attempted first-degree sexual assault in connection with two cases – one last week and another in May.

In the latest case on July 18, in which the victim was found wandering the streets of Selma, investigators recovered a broken shovel, as well as other evidence, from the attack scene, an affidavit attached to the search warrant for Muller's home and Jeep, stated.

Authorities found the same type of shovel at the Walmart Supercenter in Smithfield on July 23 and talked to a store employee who remembered someone buying a shovel, as well as condoms, rope, duct tape, knife, KY Jelly and a black button-down shirt, on the same day of the assault.

Police traced the debit card purchase to Muller and charged him with the crimes on Saturday, investigators said. He surrendered to authorities Sunday and was in the Johnston County jail Wednesday under a $350,000 bond.

In each case, investigators said, the victim accepted a ride from a man driving a light-colored four-door Jeep. Once inside the vehicle, the man showed a weapon and drove to a secluded area.

In the May 25 case in Smithfield, the woman was able to get away.

In the last attack, the driver of the Jeep put a handgun to the victim's leg and threatened to shoot her if she tried to get out of the vehicle and kill her if she screamed, the warrant stated.

The only item that investigators seized from their July 25 search was a black skull bandana with a lock, according to the warrant.

Raleigh Fire Chief John McGrath said Muller was hired as a recruit for the fire department on May 26 but that officials were in the process of dismissing him from the program because he had missed class time.


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  • Justin T. Jul 29, 2010

    "...buying a shovel, as well as condoms, rope, duct tape, knife, KY Jelly and a black button-down shirt, on the same day of the assault."

    Obviously this is a witch hunt. No way he did it...

  • JAT Jul 29, 2010

    but WAS he really so upstanding before? If he hadn't been caught, everyone would still think he was upstanding, right? Everyone thought Ted Bundy was a nice guy until they arrested him. Jeffrey Dahmer was just the quirky neighbor till they found that skull on his stove. The guy they just arrested in CA for the grim sleeper murders was a great neighbor who fixed people's cars for them. (Although he was a little odd before they arrested him....)

    We only know about people what they want us to know. And sadly, the alter ego of people usually doesn't get revealed until it's too late, damage has been done & crimes committed. War can't change anyone unless the person lets it change them.

  • keebler Jul 29, 2010

    it just goes to show you can't always think you know someone. i went to school with and interacted daily with both daniel and dylan boyd (young man envolved in the terrorist activities) and never saw either of these coming.

    this just further proves we need to be out of iraq, because like it was mentioned before, daniel was an upstanding citizen and role model before this war completely changed him!

  • poeticallycorrect-InvNo1 Jul 29, 2010

    Wow that lists screams plans of a rape/murder. Why didnt they notify authorities? I am way too nosy to work at Walmart!LOL

  • weaver52000 Jul 29, 2010

    meBNme, I love your comment. I beleive God helps those who help them selves. I will always do my best to protect me and mine, but when it is out of my hands I have to trust him. I feel sorry for those who think it is wrong to have the means to protect themselves. I could not sleep at night knowing that if someone broke into MY home, they would have the upper hand.

  • mamabearprotectinghercub Jul 28, 2010

    This isn't PTSD. That means that all people who have it will rape or do something really bad like him.

  • mamabearprotectinghercub Jul 28, 2010

    I use to think that God put me through things for a reason. He didn't it is called either yourself or a person. If we talk God then it is not a sin to rape, depending what part of the bible you talk about. But there is several parts in the bible that it isn't a sin to rape. That is why I never talk about God in situations like this. You never do. That is if you know the bible. And you don't have to believe me. All you have to do is keep believing that God will stop everything, & you will always be safe, because you done right.

    And another, am I a looser because someone was raped. I was raped so I guess I am a looser. Must be nice. I will take that.

  • amyrn Jul 28, 2010

    You know or maybe you didn't, certain traumatic events can cause a person who has seemingly been normal to experience a "break from reality". That is not an excuse for what this man did. But, it can help explain why someone who has been able to control his dark thoughts can no longer do so. I would say Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the Gulf War could be considered a traumatic experience. Should this let him walk free if he is guilty? No! He should pay for his crimes and get help but in no way should he be able to use PTSD to get away with such a serious crime. I sincerely hope these women also get counseling as they are now prone to suffer from PTSD.

  • meBNme Jul 28, 2010

    Maybe so, but it certainly decreases ones odds of becoming a victim if they are actively preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

    As for me, I will do everything I can to prepare and protect me and mine, and I trust God do what I cannot.

    We either prepare to be a winner, or resighn ourselves to being a loser.

  • Bumble Bee Jul 28, 2010

    "war can make people go crazy. its not an excuse, but it's true."

    RAPE can make people go crazy.