CCSO asking for public’s help in assault case; Victim’s family offering reward

CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – Carter County Sheriff’s Office investigators are trying to find out who assaulted an elderly Tri-Cities area woman; her family is now offering a reward.

We told you about this case earlier this week. The sheriff’s office said an 88-year old woman from the Stoney Creek community was found seriously injured by a family member on July 14.

Sheriff Dexter Lunceford said the only thing they know right now is that she was assaulted but he said she’s still unresponsive and they can’t communicate with her. They’re still trying to find out what exactly happened to this woman.

“I stopped by a couple of hours ago to the hospital and so until we can interview her it sort of leaves us in a quandry because we don’t know what happened,” Sheriff Lunceford said.

The victim’s family told News Channel 11’s Justin Soto they have a $2,500 reward prepared for anyone that can lead investigators to an arrest and conviction. They’re begging for anyone with information to come forward.

Multiple investigators are working the case and they’re still canvassing the area. They’ve also pulled video from area businesses and homes. Sheriff Lunceford said if you see something or have any information give them a call.

“Any suspicious vehicles, any persons that maybe new to the area that seem out of place, anything,” Sheriff Lunceford said.

He also said he doesn’t believe there’s any reason for the community to worry.

“I don’t think there’s any need to be nervous, I really don’t. This area, the first time that I’m aware of something like this has happened in that area,” Sheriff Lunceford said.

Hiwatha Baker has lived in the Stoney Creek community for nearly 20 years and she’s also never heard of something like this happening in her quiet community. Hearing what investigators are trying to solve puts her on edge.

“You think of it in bigger cities, you don’t think of it here,” Baker said.

She said she’s keeping her guard up and thinks her community should as well.

“As a community if you see something that looks out of place, you need be there for each other,” Baker said.

Baker said she’s hoping and praying for the best and for the case to be solved.

Lunceford said there are no signs of forced entry at the home and they’re interviewing persons of interest and anyone that might have information on what happened. He added that if anyone in the area has a camera that they’ve missed, let them know.

“If anyone has any cameras that are displayed over there please let us look at the cameras don’t you make that determination of whether or not they may be important let us determine that,” Sheriff Lunceford said.

He added that in still trying to figure out what exactly happened, people in the community shouldn’t rely on social media for information.

“We don’t operate on Facebook, there’s all kinds of rumors and all kinds of things flying around on Facebook and I would caution people against posting those things, repeating them and believing them,” Sheriff Lunceford said.

Sheriff Lunceford said they’re confident they’ll solve one of the most difficult cases the sheriff’s office has seen where they haven’t been able to speak to the victim and there’s “no evidence at the scene so to speak,” he said.

“We’re doing everything humanly possible, we will bring them to justice,” Sheriff Lunceford said.

The sheriff’s office is also looking to add to the family’s reward from their crime tip fund.

If you have any information you’re asked to call the sheriff’s office at 423-542-1845 or you can send an anonymous tip at Sheriff Lunceford also said people can pay a visit to him or one of his officers.

Copyright WJHL 2017. All rights reserved.




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