City police making statewide plea for info in Drummond rape

Published 11:49 am Thursday, November 10, 2011

A statewide plea was to be issued today for information to help Vicksburg police identify the man who raped and severely beat a 55-year-old disabled woman in her Drummond Street home on Oct. 26.

Walter Armstrong, police chief in Vicksburg, said he would make a televised plea in Jackson this afternoon during a statewide Crime Stoppers meeting.

Also this morning, Armstrong made public additional information in the investigation and confirmed a report that the rapist told the victim, “This is payback.”

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Armstrong also confirmed a previously unofficial report that a break-in had taken place in the garage of the home in the 2200 block of Drummond Street about 10 days before the rape. The victim’s husband had surprised and struggled with an intruder and the husband’s cell phone had been stolen in the encounter, Armstrong confirmed.

That break-in and theft had not been reported by police at the time. Armstrong said he was not sure why.

He said investigators have not determined that the suspect in the garage break-in is the same man who raped the woman, adding, “She did tell one of our investigators that he said ‘this is payback,’ but we don’t know ‘payback’ for what.”

A police release from Armstrong’s office this morning quoted the victim as stating, “This is a very dangerous individual whose crimes were premeditated; it’s unsettling knowing he has not been apprehended, (and) I want him caught.”

Victims of sexual assaults are not identified.

At the time of the rape, police said nothing was stolen from the home, but today’s press release said a 32-inch Vizio TV was taken. Armstrong said police denied a theft in hopes the suspect would try to sell or pawn the TV and could be traced through a serial number they registered through online and national crime prevention bureaus.

“If anyone has purchased a TV like this, we hope they will now realize it was stolen and come forward with information about the seller,” Armstrong said.

Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers has authorized up to $2,500 for information leading to an arrest and “concerned citizens” have contributed an additional $1,300, police said.

“Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information,” Armstrong said.

The victim who is disabled was home alone when a male subject forced his way into the residence around 7 a.m. After raping and beating her, he fled with the TV.

The physical tussle and theft in the garage reportedly also occurred at about 7 in the morning.

The rapist is described as a black male, approximately 5-foot-11 and with a slender build and facial hair. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie and dark pants.

Armstrong also said this morning that at least five men have submitted to DNA testing in the case. He said some results have been received and others remain incomplete.

Anyone with information may call police at 601-636-2511. The number for Central Mississippi Crime Stoppers is 888-827-4637.