ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A St. Petersburg mother spoke of heartbreak and rage as she told News Channel 8 a man attacked and sexually assaulted her 15-year-old daughter.
Police have reached out to the public, asking for help in identifying the man responsible.
The girl was found dazed and walking along 22nd Avenue South near 12th Street Memorial Day weekend.
“She didn’t deserve that. No one deserves that. No one deserves that,” said her mother.
According to the mother, the 15-year-old girl left their residence for a walk to calm down after they had an argument. She told police that she last saw her daughter at 8:50 p.m. Friday, May 26.
At 12:48 am, she reported her daughter missing, according to investigators.
Police searched for the girl, but she was nowhere to be found.
“I was really scared for her because she’s not used to being out. She’s very sheltered,” the mother said.
Nearly four hours later the girl was found on 22nd Avenue South near 12th Street.
Investigators say she had been beaten and may have been sexually assaulted.
Due to the nature of the injuries to her face and jaw, the girl was initially unable to speak. But after undergoing surgery, she was able to give a description of the incident and the suspect, who police believe is random.
The mother said her daughter encountered a man who was following her that night and that he asked the girl for a sexual favor.
“He grabbed her from the back and started choking her and said she started screaming,” the mother said. “And he pulled her down the alley. He pulled her down the alley, he beat her and he raped her.”
Test results on DNA evidence are still pending.
“He’s a monster that needs to get off the streets. If he did it to her, he’s going to do it again,” the mother said.
Three detectives have spent the last two weeks trying to retrace the teen’s steps and interviewing everyone she came in contact with that night. They have tracked down surveillance video and also pursued various leads.
A composite image of the suspect was created using a description the victim provided. They’re asking for the public’s help in identifying the man shown in the image.
If you recognize the person or have information about this case, contact the St. Petersburg Police Department at (727) 893-7780 or text SPPD + your tip to TIP411. Case #2017-025408.
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