Late Sunday afternoon, our media outlet received reports regarding a pair of alleged sexual assaults – or attempted sexual assaults – on a neighborhood trail in Sanctuary Cove, part of the sprawling Cane Bay community in Berkeley County, South Carolina.
Both victims were underage females. One of the victims was nearly raped, according to our sources.
After the second assault took place, one resident reached out to us expressing concern that local authorities were “telling exactly NO one that there is a potential serial offender assaulting young girls in Cane Bay.”
“They have no problem sending out headlines for every car that has been rummaged through or elderly person that went for a long walk and may be missing … but they don’t find it a good idea to warn people their daughters could be in harms way while on the trails?” the resident asked.
We reached out to our law enforcement sources first thing Monday morning. As our inquiries were making their way up the flagpole, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) issued a news release at approximately 4:32 p.m. EST on Monday announcing it was investigating the two assaults – and searching for a specific suspect.
“On Monday, November 27 just after 8:00 p.m. (EST), Berkeley County dispatch received a call in reference to an assault,” the release noted. “Deputies arrived at the victim’s house to collect information and learned the victim was assaulted. The victim is a 14-year-old female. The victim described to investigators she was attacked from behind. Due to the way the victim was assaulted, she was unable to provide a description to investigators, initially. The investigation determined the victim was assaulted on the trails near Shadybrook Drive and Cane Bay Boulevard.”
The second incident was reported just five days later.
“On Saturday, December 2 just before 7:00 p.m., Berkeley County dispatch received a call in reference to an assault,” the release noted. “Deputies learned the victim was assaulted and dropped her phone during the incident. The victim is a 15-year-old female. The victim was able to get away from the assailant. Deputies located the victim’s phone on the trail behind Bella Vista Court. The victim was able to provide deputies with a description of the man who attacked her.”
According to the sheriff’s office, the suspect being sought in connection with the assault(s) is a “younger white male with facial hair” who has a skinny build and is approximately 5-foot-7 to 5-foot-8 inches tall. BCSO is searching for this suspect with assistance from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
“We are using every resource possible to identify a suspect and make an arrest,” sheriff Duane Lewis said. “Detectives are working around the clock to complete this investigation. We have also requested assistance from SLED. I am urging all parents and guardians to please not allow your children to walk alone on the trails at night. Please make sure you are aware of your surroundings.”
Lewis said his agency has increased patrols in the area as it continues to investigate the assaults and has asked Cane Bay neighbors to report any suspicious activity to Berkeley County dispatch at 843-719-4169.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.
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