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Ferndale man arrested for 1st degree child rape

Whatcom News file photo

Court documents say Ferndale Police were contacted by Colorado Springs Child Protective Services last November after a woman in Colorado Springs, Colorado found video recordings of a Ferndale man performing sex acts on a sleeping child along with other videos and photos of children taking showers. She reported to have found the recordings while moving out of a house the man had temporarily lived in with her.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed with the Superior Court of Whatcom County, the woman had allowed the man, identified in court records as Bruce David VanderWoude, age 30, to move in with her temporarily weeks before the discovery. Upon viewing the recordings she confronted him about them. VanderWoude first denied it was him and then said he had been on drugs at the time and could not remember. She contacted his mother about the recordings. His mother reportedly then bought him an airline ticket to Miami, Florida. Before he left for Miami, he attempted to destroy the electronic recording devices along with a computer according to the woman.

The woman contacted Colorado Springs law enforcement and turned over the devices and computer. They then contacted the Ferndale Police Department and shipped the evidence to them.

Ferndale Police reviewed the 18 videos and 11 photos after receiving a search warrant. Other witnesses were able to identify a child and recognized VanderWoude’s parents’ house as the location where the recordings were made.

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A nationwide warrant was issued on January 25th for VanderWoude’s arrest according to court documents. According to City of Ferndale Communications Officer Riley Sweeney, he was located by the US Marshals Service then interviewed and arrested by Fort Lauderdale Police in Florida on January 30th. A Ferndale Police detective and an agent from Department of Homeland Security Investigations then flew to Florida, took him into custody and returned him to Whatcom County.

VanderWoude was booked into Whatcom County Jail by Ferndale Police just after midnight this morning, February 13th, charged with suspicion of 1st degree rape of a child and sexual exploitation of a minor.


  1. Sam poo Hayworth February 13, 2019

    I can’t believe what people will do. To the law enforcement officers thank you for all your dedication and hard work!

    • loa lankhaar February 18, 2019

      They need to hang the SOB. Unfortunately they give more time to drug dealers than rapist and murders. I believe strongly in the death penalty for rapist, child molesters, and murderers.

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