Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager
Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 4:28 p.m.
The Spokane Police Department’s (SPD) Special Victim’s Unit has identified Jay Cooke (41 years old) as the adult male involved in a series of reported lewd acts where he was exposing himself to children. The Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office has formally charged Cooke with eight counts of Indecent Exposure against a child under 14 years of age and two counts of Communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
“The tireless work of our detectives combined with the immense help we received from our schools, community, and media partners allowed for this case to be solved and the responsible individual to be held accountable,” says Major Eric Olsen. “While it can be extremely frustrating to have a case remain open, but nothing heard publicly, it is important to know that our officers continued to work diligently on this case, and remained focused to obtain enough evidence to identify and charge the suspect.”
SPD’s investigation of this case included numerous interviews, canvasing neighborhoods, going door-to-door with photos of the suspect’s vehicle, asking for the public’s assistance in providing tips/information, collaborating with District 81 and working with our local media outlets to provide information.
Beginning in the fall of 2015, the Spokane Police Department began receiving multiple reports about a suspect in a black Chevy Avalanche exposing himself to children in several areas of town. The truck was described as an earlier model Avalanche with very unique accessories; black rims, grey plastic roll bar, writing on the rear quarter panel, and a chrome front bumper.
Prior news release from February 11, 2016:
The Spokane Police Special Victim’s Unit is looking for the public’s help identifying a suspect in a series of reported lewd acts where an adult male has been exposing himself to children. The suspect vehicle (see attached picture) has been involved in multiple incidents where the driver has exposed himself to children.
The Spokane Police Special Victim’s Unit has received multiple reports about a suspect in a black Chevy Avalanche exposing himself to children in several areas of town. The truck is described as an earlier model Avalanche with very unique accessories; black rims, grey plastic roll bar, writing on the rear quarter panel, and a chrome front bumper. One of the challenges detectives have faced during this investigation is the sheer number of black Avalanches in the Spokane area, so we are asking that people pay very close attention to the unique descriptors for this vehicle prior to calling tips in.
The suspect is described as a white male, 30-45 years of age. From the reports we’ve received so far, it appears the suspect targets girls between the ages of 6-11 between the hours of 7-9:00am. The suspect may leave on foot at times, so it’s possible the vehicle could be parked and unoccupied during those times.
The most recent incident came to the attention of an officer who was flagged down by a parent today. They reported that their child was contacted by this suspect at approximately 8:00am, yesterday, Feb. 10, 2016, in the area of 5th/Thor. The suspect has also been seen in the Hillyard area and in the area of 5th/Florida.
A majority of these incidents were reported after school or the following day, after children arriving home from school would alert their parents to what had happened. We would like to take a moment to encourage parents to talk to their children about reporting these type of incidents to trusted adults as soon as possible so that law enforcement can be contacted and respond swiftly.
Anyone with information about the suspect vehicle or the suspect is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.
Officer John O'Brien