EVERETT — The woman had only heard her daughter scream like that once before, when she was hit by a car as a child.
Her daughter was making the same sound when she called Oct. 29, 2016, the woman said.
“I just heard this big scream, just this yell,” she said. “Any parent who’s out there knows what I’m talking about … you know something is wrong instantly.”
That’s when her daughter told her she’d just been raped at gunpoint at her home near Silver Lake.
The mother is a nurse. She told her daughter not to bathe until she could undergo a sexual assault examination at the hospital.
Both women gave testimony Wednesday as a trial got under way in Snohomish County Superior Court. Daniel Miltenberger, 29, is charged with first-degree rape and burglary.
In opening statements, deputy prosecutor Bob Langbehn told jurors Miltenberger hid behind a bush and attacked the young woman as she opened her front door. Genetic evidence recovered from her body was matched to the defendant, who was a stranger, the prosecutor said.
Public defender Jason Schwarz said the young woman’s statements have been inconsistent, and there is no proof Miltenberger was in her house. He asked jurors to consider each piece of evidence carefully, “brick by brick.”
Jurors will not be able to identify his client in any of the surveillance video collected from the neighborhood, Schwarz said.
“At the end of the trial, I suspect you will have more questions than answers,” he said.
The woman is 24 now. At first, as she was shoved through her door, she thought a friend was playing a prank, Langbehn said.
“When she turned around, there was a man with a mask and a gun,” he said.
After the assault, Miltenberger demanded her money and her phone, which she told him was in her backpack, the prosecutor said. She was told, “If you move, if you say anything, I will kill you,” Langbehn said.
“I was raped and he ran and he took my backpack with him …,” the woman said in court Wednesday. “I was in shock and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do.”
She later realized she still had her phone. She locked herself in a bathroom, scared the man would return.
She felt embarrassed and ashamed, she said. She remembers gasping for air as she called her mother and tried to tell her what had happened.
She stayed in the bathroom, with a towel wrapped around herself, until a sheriff’s deputy arrived and checked the rest of the house and told her it was safe. When her mother got there, she ran to her daughter, but hesitated to embrace her. Her daughter shrank away from being touched, the woman said. Her daughter’s face had an blank expression she’d never seen before, she said.
Miltenberger was identified as a suspect through DNA. His genetic profile had been submitted previously to a law enforcement database because he is a convicted sex offender.
Prosecutors allege that the victim’s wallet and library book were found during a search at Miltenberger’s home in Everett. She described her assailant as wearing some kind of sling on his right arm. Miltenberger was wearing a cast when arrested. His attorney says the cast and the related injury would have made it difficult to wield a gun.
The testimony could last into next week.