A man who stalked CSI Miami actress Eva LaRue for over a decade, threatening to rape and kill both her and her daughter was sentenced to prison last week after the FBI caught him through DNA he left on fast food straw.
James David Rogers, 58, of Heath, Ohio, was sentenced on Thursday to 40 months in federal prison, according to a Department of Justice press release.
From March 2007 to June 2015, Rogers mailed about 37 handwritten and typed letters to LaRue’s California home in which he threatened both LaRue and her daughter, it was revealed.
LaRue, 55, an actress also known for her longtime role on ‘All My Children,’ was midway through her second full season on ‘CSI: Miami’ when the first letter showed up at her house in 2007. Many more followed over the next 12 years.
‘I am going to f ** king stalk you until the day you die,’ said one, according to a 2019 federal indictment of Rogers.
‘There will be no place on this earth that I … (can’t) find you. I am going to rape you, ‘another letter read, as the stalker also threatened to rape and impregnate LaRue’s daughter.
Each letter was signed with the name ‘Freddie Krueger,’ the fictional serial killer from the horror film series ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street.’
Over the years, the FBI collected DNA from the envelopes but were not able to identify the culprit until 2019 with the help of genetic genealogy – the same method used to catch the Golden State Killer the previous year.
Eva LaRue and her daughter, Kaya McKenna Callahan, pictured in June 2022, were stalked for more than 12 years by James David Rogers, 58. He was sentenced to prison on Thursday
LaRue and her family received more than three dozen letters for more than 12 years, a terrifying nightmare that forced them to move to Italy. But when she returned to California and bought a house under an LLC to shield her di lei identity di lei, her stalker di lei had found her and the letters resumed.
While some of the letters had mentioned her daughter – age five when it all started – it escalated in 2015 when the letters were addressed directly to her daughter and he began calling her school, pretending to be her father. She was only 13.
‘I am the man who has been stalking for (the) last 7 years. Now I have set my eye on you too, ‘the first one read, according to the indictment.
Another one read, ‘You look so beautiful in your pictures on google. Are you ready to be the mother of my child. ‘
In October and November 2019, Rogers called the school where LaRue’s daughter attended, spoke with a school employee, claimed to be her father, and asked if she was present, according to the indictment.
From March 2007 to June 2015, Rogers mailed about 37 handwritten and typed letters to LaRue’s California home in which he threatened both LaRue and her daughter, it was revealed
Eva LaRue attends George Lopez Foundation’s 15th annual celebrity golf tournament pre-party in May 2022, said the stalker’s threats took a toll on their family
Kaya McKenna Callahan, pictured attended the LA Art Show Opening Night in January 2022, was also stalked by the same person as her mother
In November 2019, he again called the girl’s school and left a voicemail in which he identified himself as ‘Freddie Krueger’ and threatened to ‘rape her, molest her, and kill her.’
Court records revealed that LaRue and her daughter ‘drove circuitus routes home, slept with weapons nearby and had discussions about how to seek help quickly if [Rogers] found them and tried to harm them.
‘They tried to anonymize their addresses as much as possible by avoiding receiving mail and packages at their actual address,’ prosecutors said. ‘To no avail. Each time they moved, [the] letters – and the victims ‘terror – would always follow.’
But in 2019 with the help of genetic genealogy, the FBI was able to take DNA from the envelopes and run it through a database, which matched with the suspect’s relatives leading to a small town in Ohio.
The FBI began surveilling Rogers once there was evidence pointing to him, and even traveled to Ohio where he worked as a nurse’s assistant at an assisted living facility.
Former FBI special agent Stephen Busch and former FBI attorney Steve Kramer told CNN that in the fall of 2019, they followed him to an Arby’s on his way home from work, watched him eat his meal and discard the bag in a dumpster.
The agents located Roger’s soda straw in the bag and tested the DNA. It was a match with the DNA on the envelopes sent to LaRue and her daughter di lei, they said.
It’s science that was used for the first time in California to capture the Golden State Killer.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 74, a former California police officer who lived a double life as the ‘Golden State Killer’ was sentenced to life in prison in 2020 for a string of murders and rapes in the 1970s and 80s that were solved through the use of public genealogy websites.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 74, – aka the Golden State Killer – stood up from his wheelchair and removed his mask before apologizing to his victims and their families in court in 2020
DeAngelo is pictured in the early 70s when he worked with the Exeter Police Department. He married Huddle in 1973
It was the first time police had tested samples of DNA found at some of the crime scenes against DNA being stored by GEDMatch.
One of DeAngelo’s relatives had willingly submitted their sample to find out more about their ancestry.
Since DeAngelo’s case, it has been used as a crime-solving technique hundreds of times – like in the case of LaRue’s stalker Rogers, who was eventually caught through his DNA left on a soda straw.
Rogers was sentenced on Thursday to 40 months in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in April to two counts of mailing threatening communications, one count of threats by interstate communications, and two counts of stalking.
Rogers told the judge on Thursday via a video link from Ohio that he grew up in an abusive home and was bullied in school, adding that he is receiving mental health treatment.
‘I sincerely apologize for what I did for the last 12 years, putting you and your family through hellish behavior,’ he said to LaRue. ‘I accept full responsibility. I hope you can put this behind you and at some point never think about me again. ‘
‘I forgive you, but I cannot forget,’ LaRue told him at the sentencing in a Los Angeles County courtroom on Thursday. ‘The fear is with me forever.’
LaRue told the court how the threats took a toll on her and her family.
‘We have had years of this,’ she said. ‘This is beyond deviant behavior.’
LaRue, seen here with daughter Kaya in 2022, told her stalker in court at his sentencing on Thursday: ‘I forgive you, but I cannot forget. The fear is with me forever ‘
LaRue’s daughter Kaya Callahan, who is now 20, seen here with her mother, told the court how she was traumatized by Rogers’ threats
LaRue’s daughter Kaya Callahan, who is 20, told the court how she was traumatized by Rogers’ threats.
‘I was afraid for my life,’ she said. Callahan said her fear of her still lingers.
‘I want to feel OK again,’ she said. ‘Safe.’
LaRue played a doctor for many years on the soap opera ‘All My Children’ and is and probably best known for her seven seasons on the crime drama ‘CSI: Miami’ where she played a DNA analyst for the Miami-Dade Police Department.