Saturday, October 27, 2012

Forest Service Releases New Sketch of Nantahala Rape Suspect

The USDA Forest Service has issued an updated sketch of the man accused of raping a woman in the Nantahala National Forest more than a year ago.

The new sketch is posted online here. A professional law enforcement artist created the new sketch of the suspect with help from the victim. The original sketch, issued in September 2011, was computer-generated with guidance from the victim.

The agency continues to seek information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Federal, state and local law enforcement officials are using a variety of investigative tools, including forensic evidence, to find the suspect and bring him to justice. In recent months, law enforcement officers have followed up on leads and conducted interviews. No arrests have been made in the case.

The Forest Service, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, and the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) are seeking information on the rape that occurred Sunday, Sept. 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, State Road 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 seek 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, 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.

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 USDA 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.

Hiking in the Smokies

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