The DeKalb County Police Department and Emory Police Department (EPD) have determined that the suspect in the reported rape in Emory Village last week may be linked to three open cases of attempted sexual assault that occurred in DeKalb County, according to a DeKalb County Police Department statement released Wednesday evening. The police departments are conducting a joint investigation.
The three other reported incidents occurred between December 2013 and January 2014 and involved young females who were walking alone in the Emory vicinity off campus, the statement says. The suspect “approached and attempted to overpower” the victims, according to the statement, which does not specify whether the victims have any affiliation with the University.
These victims were able to fight off the suspect and alert police, the police department said. They were not physically injured.
Last Tuesday, a female Emory student reported to EPD that she was raped near Emory Village in a wooded area between Oxford Road and Dowman Drive at around 11:15 p.m. A University-wide email alerted the Emory community about the reported incident last Wednesday.
The description of the suspect in the DeKalb County cases is consistent with a sketch that the Emory Village survivor provided to a Georgia Bureau of Investigation official. EPD released the sketch on Saturday night.
The suspect is described as a white male, about 5 feet 10 inches with medium build and around 50 years old. The University-wide email also specified that he has a reddish or brown beard and at the time of the reported incident was wearing a brown or green beanie cap, tan or brown jacket, dark blue jeans and brown boots.
“The community is encouraged to remain vigilant about their safety and exercise safety practices,” the DeKalb County Police Department said in the statement.
The statement encourages the Emory community to remain alert about their surroundings, including walking in groups at night, avoiding distractions such as texting or talking on the phone and avoiding “isolated and dimly lit areas.”
DeKalb and Emory authorities are “aggressively investigating” these cases, according to the statement, and are encouraging anyone with information about the suspect or anyone who may have been a victim to contact the DeKalb County Police Department’s Special Victims Unit at (770) 724-6111 or EPD at (404) 727-6111.
– By Jordan Friedman
If you have been affected by sexual assault, abuse in a relationship or stalking, you have support at Emory. Contact Lauren (LB) Bernstein in the Respect Program in the Office of Health Promotion at 404-727-1514 or [email protected] to schedule a confidential consultation.