Man charged in rape and killing of Sacramento-area woman

Map of crime scene

A Sacramento County man faces several felony counts in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found five days after she was reported missing by family in late January.

Mikilo Rawls, 37, was arrested Friday, 10 days after authorities discovered the body of 20-year-old Emma Roark of Rancho Cordova in a secluded area near the American River, authorities said.

Rawls faces one count of murder with three special circumstances, making the case eligible for death penalty consideration, the Sacramento County district attorney’s office said Monday.


He was also charged with kidnapping, rape, sodomy and an allegation that he bound or tied Roark during the attack, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Rawls was previously convicted of first-degree burglary, meaning he would face a second strike under state law if convicted.

Though there were homeless encampments in the area where Roark’s body was found, Rawls’ housing status wasn’t made clear by authorities, who said he moved around the Sacramento County area.

“The circumstances of this murder are horrific, and our sympathies go out to Emma Roark’s family,” said Dist. Atty. Anne Marie Schubert.

Roark’s family reported her missing about 6 p.m. Jan. 27, six hours after she was last seen leaving her residence, according to the Rancho Cordova Police Department.

Authorities from multiple agencies launched an extensive search, eventually finding her body Feb. 1 in the El Manto River Access area, police said.


“This type of violent crime tears at the fabric of community safety,” said Chief Deputy Jim Barnes of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. “I am proud of the Sheriff’s Office personnel, which includes the Rancho Cordova Police Department, who stood tall to protect our community and brought resolution to this brutal crime.”

Evidence found on Roark’s body tied Rawls to her death, police said.