Police say a suspect is on the loose after he attacked, injured and raped a 16-year-old girl who was walking on the Robert McClory Bike Path in Beach Park Monday evening.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 7:30 p.m. Monday to a 911 call for a sexual assault on the Robert McClory Bike Path near Northeast End Avenue and Yorkhouse Road in Beach Park.
Lake County Sheriff Spokesman Lt. Christopher Covelli said a 16-year-old girl was walking on the bike path.
A male described as being African American, possibly in his 20s, approximately 5-foot-11, and thin build, came out of the tree line and approached the victim as she was walking.
The offender had numerous metal hair barrettes in his hair, which police say is a “very unique identifier.”
The suspect took the girl forcefully by the neck and shoved her to the ground. He then removed her clothing and sexually assaulted her.
Covelli said that the victim screamed during the attack and a nearby resident heard the screaming.
The nearby resident began yelling to the victim to run to them and the offender fled on foot, Covelli said. The victim was able to run to the nearby resident who called 911 for help.
The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment from injuries sustained during the attack. The extent of her injuries was not released.
Sheriff’s deputies established a large perimeter and began searching for the offender.
A canine track was conducted by a Lake Forest Police Department canine unit. The track led to an area where police believe the offender got into a vehicle and fled.
Sheriff’s detectives and sheriff’s evidence technicians responded to the scene and continue to investigate.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 847-377-4000.