LAKE LOTAWANA, Mo. — Thursday afternoon, Lake Lotawana Police released a sketch of the man who they say attacked a woman two weeks ago on Langsford Road near 7 Highway after her car broke down.
The suspect was driving a non-descript, full size white work van with very bright headlights and possibly a ladder rack on top the evening of Wednesday, May 7, at about 11:00 p.m.
The victim’s car became disabled on Langsford Road, approximately 200 feet west of MO 7 Highway, according to police.
The woman in her thirties at first thought the man was stopping to help her, but then she quickly became suspicious.
“The suspect had grabbed ahold of her ponytail she had in her hair that evening and yanked her backward and she starts struggling with him and fighting while she’s on the ground and kicking backwards at him,” said Chief Brent Miller, Lake Lotawana Police Dept.
“At this point the suspect pulls out a handgun and puts it in her side and says, you’re going back to my van.”
She complied, but then decided to fight again. She managed to escape from him as he took her to his van. She ran across Langsford Road, hid in some tall weeds and used her cell phone to call for help.
But the suspect heard her on her phone and found her.
“They start fighting again and she manages to get over the fence. And she hides in what she thought was a brush pile,” said Chief Miller.
But then he found her again and they began another struggle.
The woman thinks sirens in the distance scared him off.
The police chief said at first the woman blamed herself, but he told her she did exactly what she was supposed to do.
“You were prepared. You had a number punched in your phone so you could call for help immediately. And then once it went bad you did everything you were supposed to do. You ran. You hid. And as a last resort you fought, and you fought and you won. You beat this guy,” Chief Miller said.
The suspect is white, approximately 35 to 50 years old, 5’11″.
He was further described as having wide shoulders, collar-length, dark well-groomed hair. Chief Miller is confident that the suspect will be apprehended.
"We're not gonna stop until we find him," Chief Miller said. "We're gonna find you. She's confident enough that she could pick the person out of a photo line up."
If you have information about this subject or incident please contact the Lake Lotawana Police Department at 816-578-4333 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.