Governor’s office ups reward

Published 7:49 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The governor’s office added a $5,000 incentive to the effort to locate and arrest the man suspected of kidnapping and attacking a Troy University student on Jan. 10.

Gov. Robert Bentley’s decision to increase the reward offered by the City of Troy and Troy University was driven by a desire to see justice brought to this case.

“It is extremely important for law enforcement officers to locate and arrest this dangerous person or persons responsible for this crime,” the governor said in a statement. “I encourage anyone with information to please come forward and work with law enforcement to solve this case and secure justice for this Troy student.”

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The reward being offered now stands at $15,000.

A 20-year-old Troy University student was abducted from her Smith Street home around 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 10. She told police that her attacker stole her car and forced her to drive to a remote area of County Road 7735, near Needmore Road, where he brutally attacked and stabbed her after her silver Chevrolet Cobalt ran out of gas. The suspect apparently left the scene on foot, and the student was able to walk about a quarter of a mile to a nearby residence, where she found help sometime after midnight.

Police have released a composite sketch of the suspect, as well as a general physical description, and on Monday officers and sheriff’s deputies established an information checkpoint in the Needmore Road area to try and garner more information about the suspect.

“There’s a level of intensity we need to keep in this investigation,” said Sgt. Benny Scarbrough of the Troy Police Department.

Law enforcement officials also on Monday expanded the search parameters, encouraging residents who may have seen this person of interest along the nine-mile stretch of Needmore Road between the location of the attack and Highway 29 to call in with information.

And, officers have asked that anyone who might have seen or know the identity of an African-American male subject standing in the parking lot of Oakdale Apartments between 9:30 and 9:50 p.m. on Jan. 10 to report this to police.

“There’s somebody out there who has some information that will help solve this case,” Police Chief Anthony Everage said Monday. “And we want to encourage that person to contact law enforcement.”

Everage said the composite sketch, released shortly after the attack, is meant to suggest a general appearance, “but we know it isn’t exact.”

And physical descriptions provided by police – from an age of mid 30s to having light facial hair – should not be limiting factors. Police have described the suspect as an African-American man, perhaps in his mid 30s, about 5 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet tall, having a flat nose, light facial hair and strong body odor. At the time of the attack he was wearing dark clothing and a toboggan.

Anyone with information should call the Troy Police Department at (334) 566-0500, TPD Secret Witness Line at (334) 566-5555 or the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at (334) 566-4347.