Cape Girardeau police investigating possible rape

Saturday, June 9, 2007

A 31-year-old woman reported being forcibly taken early Friday from the streets of downtown Cape Girardeau to a secluded location in the northeast part of the city where she was raped, police spokesman Sgt. Barry Hovis said.

Police are looking skeptically at the report, however, because of problems with the woman's statement, Hovis said.

"We are investigating it," he said. "But we are also checking into the validity of the report in this case because of some false statements she has made to us. But we are continuing to investigate it at this time."

The woman told investigators she was abducted at the corner of Broadway and Sprigg Street shortly before 2 a.m. by three men in a gold-colored sport utility vehicle, possibly a Ford, Hovis said. The woman reported she was taken to a park area in the northeast part of Cape Girardeau, possibly Twin Trees Park or Cape Rock Park, Hovis said. Once there, two of the men sexually assaulted her.

Afterward, they returned the woman to downtown Cape Girardeau, Hovis said. He did not have information on where they released the woman, he said.

The woman was able to provide a description of only one suspect, Hovis said. She told officers that one of her assailants was a man of average build in his 20s, with brown hair, a thin mustache and wearing a white T-shirt.

"Since we are continuing to investigate, if anyone should have any information that would contribute to the case, they should contact the Cape Girardeau Police Department," he said.

The investigation will continue until the assailants are caught or detectives become convinced that the problems with the woman's story make it likely the attack did not occur, Hovis said. "We want to make sure what we are putting our time and resources in on is truly what occurred here."

To provide information, call the Cape Girardeau Police Department at 335-6621 or CrimeStoppers at 332-0500.

rkeller@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 126

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