Law enforcement officials are still trying to apprehend the suspect accused of raping a female on Sunday, Sept. 25, in the Nantahala National Forest. The incident occurred at the intersection of Forest Service Road and Wayah Road. The female told authorities that she stopped after seeing a man she thought was incapacitated on the side of the road. She attempted to give the man aid, but upon approaching the suspect, the female told authorities that she was subdued with a firearm and forcibly raped.
The USDA Forest Service is working in conjunction with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, and the State Bureau of Investigations (SBI) to ascertain and capture the person suspected of the rape.
“There’s really nothing new to report,” said Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland. “We continue to receive some information in regards to leads, and we are following up on those leads. We are encouraging people who may have information, regardless of whether or not they think the information they have is important, to come forward and report that information to us,” he said.
Authorities are looking for a white male, 6’0”, 200 pounds, between the ages of 30 and 40, having brown wavy short hair, green to blue eyes, having a deep voice and fair complexion. Law enforcement officials maintain that the suspect is considered armed and dangerous, and may be wearing a backpack. The suspect was last seen wearing dark blue jeans and a medium blue shirt.
On the same date and approximate location, a motor grader was vandalized and diesel was stolen. Earlier on the same day, three individuals were observed around the motor grader and authorities believe those individuals may have information relevant to the case. Authorities are asking these individuals or persons knowing the individuals to contact law enforcement officials.
Persons having information to pass on to law enforcement may call the USDA Forest Service special agent at (828)231-0288, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office at (828)524-2811, or the SBI at 1-800-334-3000.
USFS investigators released a composite sketch of the suspect several days after the rape was reported, posting flyers at trailheads throughout the Nantahala District. The sketch has been sent to law enforcement agencies nationwide, and vehicle patrols were increased in the district after the rape was reported.