Mother Calls for Community's Help to Catch Rapist - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

04/04/06

Mother Calls for Community's Help to Catch Rapist

GBI sketch of rape suspect. GBI sketch of rape suspect.

Twenty days ago, a man attacked and raped a 16-year-old girl in her own home in the Blackshear Homes community on Wheaton Street in Savannah.

Today, police released this sketch of the suspect. He's slim and stands about 5'8". Police say he was armed and wearing a blue track suit or jump suit at the time of the attack.

The sketch is something her mother has been pushing for since the day the teen was raped. The family does not want to be identified, but the mother spoke with WTOC exclusively today about how the investigation is going and what she needs from the community.

Finding this rapist is all this mother can think about. She wants everybody to take a good look at the sketch so police can get him off the street as quickly as possible.

"So far it turned out good," she said. "What's going to make it turn out better is when we catch this man."

Her daughter worked with a professional sketch artist from the GBI to come up with this picture. "Out of 100 percent, we give it 90 percent that that's him," she said.

A couple weeks ago, police say he raped the girl in her home. She had gotten home from school. The man said he was an exterminator with the housing authority. She called her mom, her mom said it sounded legitimate and told her to let him in. But he wasn't an exterminator, and he raped the teenager on the living room floor.

Since the attack, the mother and daughter's lives haven't been the same. The 16-year-old is staying with family out of town and is in counseling. The mother may lose her job and says she will never forgive herself for what happened.

"It's been hard on me," she told us. "Every day, as a mother, I've been apologizing, telling her I'm sorry. She's been real strong."

Neither one will rest until this rapist is behind bars.

"Somebody has to remember on March 15 at 3:00 who was in the Blackshear-Wheaton Street area, who was wearing those blue clothes," the mother said. "Somebody, you saw him."

And she hopes somebody turns him in. "It's not just about me, it's about everybody. I'm not the only person that has a beautiful daughter. This whole community is full of beautiful children."

She doesn't want her daughter's attacker to hurt anyone else.

This sketch was made by the same forensics sketch artist police used to identify the serial rapist in Savannah last summer.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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