SCMPD holds news conference on sexual assault of 11-year-old girl

WATCH: Full news conference hosted by SCMPD regarding 11-year-old girl sexually assaulted

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Department held a news conference at 3 p.m. on Wednesday to discuss facts and dispel rumors in regards to the sexual assault of an 11-year-old girl in the Carver Heights neighborhood that occurred on Monday afternoon.

We do know police are looking for an armed suspect described as a tall, chubby, middle-aged black male with short curly hair and a large stomach. During the incident, he wore a white shirt, a black Dickies brand bottom, and visible plaid boxer shorts.

Officers are now saying that 11-year-old girl who was attacked and raped at an abandoned house in the Carver Heights neighborhood was actually kidnapped from her own home.

There was some speculation from neighbors who thought she may have just gotten off the school bus. Plus, campus police was out in the area Tuesday handing out safety tips when walking to and from the bus stop.

But investigators confirmed Wednesday morning the girl actually made it home after school, was inside her home when she was kidnapped by a man. She was taken to an abandoned house on Cubbedge Street and that's where she was raped.

"I would like to clarify that she was not getting off the bus. She had already made it to her residence when this incident did occur," said Sgt. Tiffany Manuel, SCMPD Special Victims Unit.

This new information really changed the whole dynamics of the story. Many folks were shocked to learn that someone was brazen enough to take a child from her own home.

"I can't believe it. I mean to be in the safety of your own home and to know that someone came to your home and took your child," said Carver Heights resident, Natasha Williams.

This mother of three was shocked when she found out that not only was a young girl assaulted in an abandoned home across the street, but she had actually been kidnapped from her home and brought to this location.

At Wednesday's news conference, investigators asked the public to take a good look at the sketch of the suspect – saying he was armed and dangerous.

"He does have some identifiable burn marks on his face – it should be kind of identifiable," said Sgt. Manuel.

WTOC asked, "Have you all gotten any reports that he's a homeless person? We've been getting some feedback from the public."

"I've gotten some different tips along that line. I have not gotten that confirmed at this time. But there have been some tips that he could possibly be homeless," replied Sgt. Manuel.

While the news was very disturbing to many of the folks in this neighborhood, some wish they had had that information much sooner.

"If she was taken from her home, then that's totally different than walking home from school. Then there are some questions that we need answers to," said Williams.

"Because she was taken from her house, her home," said Jonathan DeLoach.

"So they could be aware around their house. Keep an eye on their house," said Ben Floyd.

But it's still unclear how long investigators have known the young girl was taken from her home.

"Was that information y'all have known from the very beginning," asked WTOC.

"It is information we've gathered over the course of this investigation," replied Sgt. Manuel.

For parents like Williams, she's not only worried about the safety of her children but also how this news will start to impact their childhood.

"We can only tell them, 'no, not right now. You can't go outside. Not right now,'" said Williams.

Metro police are holding a community meeting Wednesday to address concerns in the neighborhood.

If you have any information please call police or CrimeStoppers at 912.234.2020. CrimeStoppers is now offering a cash reward of up to $2,500 for any tips leading to the arrest of the suspect.

{To read Tuesday's story about the incident, see below:}

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