According to detective David Eubanks of the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department, new witnesses who spotted the suspect shortly after the July 15 assault have come forward. Additionally, the detective said several new sightings, and a recently foiled second assault have provided new leads in the search for the rapist.
Eubanks confirmed last week reports that a man matching the description of the suspect entered another Fort Oglethorpe business several weeks ago, but was surprised by the presence of two women in the building and fled the scene.
The detective said women in the Fort Oglethorpe area should be on guard and take special precautions, especially when opening a business early in the morning.
“All women should be cautious,” he said. “We can’t stress enough that people need to lock the back doors of their businesses. You’d be surprised how many people leave their back doors unlocked during business hours.”
In the first assault, a man entered through the unlocked rear door of Advanced Foot Care on Battlefield Parkway, and sexually assaulted an employee who was in the process of opening the office.
Authorities initially described the perpetrator as a white male in his late 20s to early 30s, with short brown hair balding in the front and a large tattoo on his lower left leg.
Police believe the rapist may have changed his appearance, and now has longer hair and a beard, Eubanks said. He also may be driving a dark blue early 90s model Mazda 626 or similar vehicle, in addition to the early 90s model white Jeep Cherokee originally reported, the detective said.
Brenda Vann, office manager of The Children’s Doctors located behind Advanced Foot Care, said the July assault and subsequent reports of a second attempted assault have had little affect on the office’s day to day routine.
“We’re just a little more alert to what’s going on around us, but other than that it hasn’t really affected us,” she said.
Greg Seibenhener, manager of Acceptance Insurance in Battlefield Plaza next to Hamrick’s, said he and his female employees feel relatively safe because the business is located in a busy shopping center, and is not a stand alone business like Advanced Foot Care.
“We’re in a fairly open place and we’ve got people in and out of here all day,” he said. “I hope that would protect us.”
Anyone with information about the assaults is asked to contact Fort Oglethorpe detectives David Eubanks or Dave Scroggins at (706) 866-2512