The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office continued its investigation Thursday into a reported sexual assault case at Highbanks Metro Park in Lewis Center.
The department also requested the public’s help in identifying the suspect.
DCSO released a sketch Wednesday of the suspect that attacked an 18-year-old male at the park Tuesday. The suspect raped and assaulted the victim around 4:30 p.m., according the deputy’s report. The victim was not otherwise injured.
The suspect is described as a middle-aged male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 170 pounds. He has salt-and-pepper hair and a goatee with graying hair.
The victim told deputies the suspect has a slight accent and is of Indian descent. He was wearing a white t-shirt with black vertical stripes and black running shorts, and appeared to be familiar with the trails and park.
“We believe this is an isolated incident, and that Highbanks remains a great place to hike, picnic and enjoy,” said DCSO spokesperson Tracy Whited. “In checking our database, we can’t find any other assaults being reported at Highbanks.”
Whited said that DCSO detectives do not believe there is any need for the public to be overly concerned.
“But this certainly is a great reminder for people to practice some simple safety tips when hiking or jogging,” she said. “When possible, go in pairs; be cognizant of your surroundings; have a cell phone with you and easily accessible; and if using headphones, only have one earplug in so you can hear around you.”
Whited said DCSO is still looking for identification of the suspect and encouraged the public to call the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office at 740-833-2800 if anyone recognized or has seen the suspect.