Police Search for Suspect after Woman, 81, Raped at Home

Police Search for Suspect after Woman, 81, Raped at Home
By: CJ Cassidy

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Cape Girardeau police are searching for a rape/burglary suspect.
According to Cape police, a man raped an 81-year-old woman and took her wallet Sunday, November 30 around 6:30 p.m.  

Police say the victim remembers her attacker as a black male in his teens to thirties, around six feet tall, with a medium build, dressed in a dark hoodie with light trim on the edge.

Police say the victim is recovering well, despite some serious injuries because of her age.

They say she had to undergo surgery, but a family member says she's expected to leave the hospital soon.

Meanwhile, folks in the neighborhood in the southeast part of Cape Girardeau where the attack happened say they just don't feel safe anymore.

"It's really dangerous out here," Cassell Wisman said.

He mirrors the reaction of many elderly folks in southeast Cape Girardeau in the wake of Sunday night's attack.

Police say the suspect knocked on the door of a home and when the 81-year-old woman answered, he forced his way in and raped her.

"She believes she saw this person in the neighborhood in the past, and that leaves us to believe he may live in the area," said Sgt. Barry Hovis with the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

That's troubling to folks like Eddy Rains who lives here.

"You don't know if its going to happen to your mother or anybody else around here," she said.

"They are too trusting," Cassell Wisman said, pointing out that that leaves older people especially vulnerable to an attack.

"They are not used to what's going on.  It used to be a lot better than this.  Used to, you could go to bed at night and not lock the door and be safe.  You can't do that now."

Police say the suspect also stole the victim's wallet and made off on foot. 

Call the Cape Girardeau Police Department at 573-335-6621 or the Crime Stoppers number at 573-332-0500 if you have any information.

In the meantime, what can you do if someone does get past your front door?

Police say try to lock yourself in a room, or yell loudly to alert your neighbors something is wrong.

You can also use the panic button on your vehicle to attract attention.

Sgt. Hovis says under the Castle Doctrine, you can even use lethal force to protect yourself against an attacker on your own property, but try to call for help first.