Search for Rape Suspect - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/31/07

Search for Rape Suspect

Effingham County Sheriff's are hoping surveillance tape will lead them to the suspect in a rape case.

Investigators say it happened on McLaws road in Pineora back on January 11th.

Deputies say the victim walked out of her house to get something out of the car, when she was approached by a man walking down the road.

"A young black male engaged her in conversation," according to Effingham County Sheriff's Investigator Brad Brown. "She tried to end the conversation, get back in the residence. At that time he pursued her into the residence, assaulted her and raped her."

Sheriff's deputies say they were lacking for clues until 5 days after the crime. The victim and her fiancé stopped at the El Cheapo gas station on Midland road.

The victim was sitting in her car when the man she claims attacked her walked inside the store.

Surveillance video gave deputies the best look at the suspect inside the store, and a better chance at making an arrest.

"We're hoping that this video clip will help us get the community involved where they might say that yes they know this person. This is who it is. This is his name, this is where he lives," says Investigator Brown.

"Everybody says that's supposed to happen in the big city, ain't supposed to happen in Pineora," says Gilbert G

"A young black male engaged her in conversation," according to Effingham County Sheriff's Investigator Brad Brown. "She tried to end the conversation, get back in the residence. At that time he pursued her into the residence, assaulted her and raped her."

Sheriff's deputies say they were lacking for clues until 5 days after the crime. The victim and her fiancé stopped at the El Cheapo gas station on Midland road.

The victim was sitting in her car when the man she claims attacked her walked inside the store.

Surveillance video gave deputies the best look at the suspect inside the store, and a better chance at making an arrest.

"We're hoping that this video clip will help us get the community involved where they might say that yes they know this person. This is who it is. This is his name, this is where he lives," says Investigator Brown.

"Everybody says that's supposed to happen in the big city, ain't supposed to happen in Pineora," says Gilbert Garrett, who lives down the road from the crime scene.

The alleged crime shocked the small town of Pineora, and the folks who've lived there all their lives..

"Its not a good feeling to know that somebody in the neighborhood would do something," says Clara Howard.

The crime is the talk of the town for folks like Clara Howard. Howard has been in the same home for 50 years, and even rented the victim and her fiancé their home.

She used to feel safe, but now she's locking her doors tight, just in case.

"I will feel better when he's behind bars," says Howard. "I just hope they catch him."

Effingham County sheriff's call the crime a random act of violence, but have stepped up patrols in the area just in case.

If you can help investigators find the suspect, call Effingham County sheriff's at (912)754-3449 right away, who lives down the road from the crime scene.

The alleged crime shocked the small town of Pineora, and the folks who've lived there all their lives..

"Its not a good feeling to know that somebody in the neighborhood would do something," says Clara Howard.

The crime is the talk of the town for folks like Clara Howard. Howard has been in the same home for 50 years, and even rented the victim and her fiancé their home.

She used to feel safe, but now she's locking her doors tight, just in case.

"I will feel better when he's behind bars," says Howard. "I just hope they catch him."

Effingham County sheriff's call the crime a random act of violence, but have stepped up patrols in the area just in case.

If you can help investigators find the suspect, call Effingham County sheriff's at 912.754.3449 right away.

Reported by: Andrew Davis, adavis@wtoc.com

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