Saturday, October 1, 2011

Agencies Seek Help in Finding Nantahala N.F. Rape Suspect

The Macon County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. Forest Service and the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) are seeking information on a rape which occurred Sunday September 25, 2011, at approximately 4:00 p.m. in Macon County within the Nantahala National Forest.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Forest Service Road (FSR) 711 and the Wayah Road, FSR 1310. A female driving through the area stopped to render aid to a person she believed was incapacitated who was lying beside the road. At that time a firearm was used to subdue the victim and she was allegedly forcibly raped.

Law enforcement authorities are seeking information and assistance in identifying a possible suspect. Authorities are looking for a white male, 6’0”, 200 pounds, between the ages of 30 and 40, having brown wavy short hair, no facial hair, green to blue eyes, having a deep voice and a fair complexion. The suspect was last seen wearing dark blue jeans and a medium blue shirt. The subject is armed and considered dangerous and may be carrying a backpack. No vehicle information is available at this time. The attached composite sketch was rendered to assist in identifying the assailant.

On the same date and approximate location, a motor grader was vandalized and diesel was stolen. Earlier the same day, three individuals were observed around the motor grader that may have information relevant to the case. These individuals or persons knowing these individuals’ identities are asked to call law enforcement.

Persons having information to pass on to law enforcement may call the U.S. Forest Service Special Agent at 828-231-0288, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office at 828-524-2811 or the SBI at 1-800-334-3000.

To view the composite sketch of the suspect, click here.

U.S. Forest Service also offers these safety tips when visiting National Forests (or any public lands):

* Do not hike alone.

* Always be aware, alert and cautious. Some visitors have different agendas, which may include drug production, theft, arson or illegal acts.

* Lock your car. As simple as this seems, many people still forget.

* Don’t leave your travel plans on the windshield of your car. Leave your plans with someone at home, like a neighbor, relative or friend.

* Research your camping area. Read up about the camping area you will be visiting.

* For your safety and reassurance, ask about whether there are risks associated with certain areas.

* Back away from any people who appear to be angry, intoxicated or otherwise out of control.

* Keep children, pets and personal property away from anyone or any situation that appears to be suspicious. Caution is the best policy.

* Notify law enforcement officials of any suspicious behavior or situation.

Click here for more information from the USFS website.


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