Friday March 16 Update:
NewsChannel 6 obtained a recording of the 911 call made by two co-workers to save their friend’s life. In the call you can hear the victim tell deputies, “my throat is slit.” The story is one of incredible bravery and survival.
Here is a brief back story, but you can find a more detailed description of the incident below.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says they responded to a home invasion call at 2569 Walton Way at the Colonial Court Apartment complex, which is across the street from Augusta University’s Summerville Campus. We are told that when they got there, deputies had to force their way into the apartment. They found a woman tied up inside. We are told she was cut with a knife and had a gag in her mouth.
The police report released Friday says the suspect is charged with rape, aggravated assault, armed robbery, burglary, and possession of a weapon during a crime.
Just one problem–there is no suspect.
Investigators are still trying to track down who committed this heinous crime.
On Friday, NewsChannel 6 received a copy of the emergency call the victim’s coworkers made to 911. Even though she was bound and gagged, the woman was able to call her friends via FaceTime, which is a video call application on a smartphone. With the woman still on FaceTime, her friends dialed 911.
The call starts with woman and then switches over to a man. The woman sounds horse and tells the dispatcher she is getting someone with a better voice.
The man tells the dispatcher, “We see her lying on the floor with tape on her mouth…She’s crying now…She’s still responsive…She says she’s hurt…She’s not sure if anybody’s still there.”
Later, the dispatcher asks him for clarification. “You said she is tied up?”
“She looks like she’s tied up. I can only see her…I can’t see her hands…She looks like she has blood on her shirt,” says the man on the other end of the line.
You then hear the caller turn and ask a question to the victim, who is still on the FaceTime call.
“Have you been this way overnight or just this morning? Overnight,” he says.
The man tells the dispatcher when his friend did not show up for work at Augusta University Health, they started calling to make sure she was alright. That is when they found out she was far from it.
“We were calling her and then she responded. She reached out to us by FaceTime and we just saw her lying down,” the man tells the dispatcher.
Later in the call you hear the victim’s muffled voice as she says out of desperation, “They’re here!”
The caller says to the dispatcher, “She says somebody’s there. She’s trying to communicate with her hands.”
Next, you hear the loud banging noises of the deputies breaking into the apartment. You also hear inaudible sounds of deputies talking and radios in the background.
The dispatcher asks the caller if anyone else is inside the apartment other than the woman.
“Do you know if the invaders are still there?” He asks.
“I don’t think…she doesn’t know…She shrugged when we asked her that question,” the man tells the dispatcher.
At the end of the 911 call, you hear a female voice comforting her friend before the dispatcher tells them they can hang up.
“We’re right here with you honey, we’re right here,” she says.
The 911 call lasted just shy of 15 minutes.
As of Friday night, deputies tell us they are still looking for the person who did this.
Thursday March 15
Richmond County investigators are searching for answers after they found a woman bound and gagged inside her apartment.
As of Friday evening, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office is still looking for the suspect who they believe committed the crime.
They found the woman in her apartment at the Colonial Court complex located on Walton Way, which is across the street from Augusta University’s Summerville campus.
Richmond County deputies say they got the ‘home invasion’ call at 9 a.m. on Thursday March 15th.
Sgt. William McCarty with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says, “Once deputies arrived, they tried to make contact with the resident inside and couldn’t and forced their way into the residence.”
Sgt. McCarty says that is when they found a woman who had been assaulted. Medics took her to Augusta University for treatment for what he described as “non-life threatening injuries.”
“The victim was able to make contact with a friend who in turn called the Sheriff’s Office,” Sgt. McCarty explained.
People who live in the Summerville neighborhood describe it as quiet, aside from the speeding cars on Walton Way.
Dr. Mark Fissel who lives near where the incident happened says, “You don’t get a lot of parking and you certainly don’t get a lot of news vehicles and I counted at least 6 or 7. It was unnerving because you always assume the worst,” he said.
The Richmond County Sheriff’s Office says they will have more deputies in the neighborhood.
“We are operating that this is possibly an isolated incident; however, we are going to increase our patrols in this community, this apartment complex, as well as the surrounding community,” Sgt. McCarty said.
We were there as investigators bagged evidence, searched the parking lot and towed a car from the scene. We are told deputies are trying to determine how the suspect got inside the woman’s apartment.
Sgt. McCarty says, “We’re still investigating each step as far as the point of entry and how it was handled.”
Augusta University sent an email to students faculty and staff updating them about the reported assault on Thursday morning near campus. They sent a second follow up email later in the afternoon.
In the second email, AU President Dr. Brooks Keel said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and her family. At this time, we are focused on doing whatever we can to support her and other members of our community who have been affected by this act of violence .”
The emailed continued with the following:
The Augusta University Police Department is working closely with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, and you can expect to see an increased police presence and patrols in and around campus. We encourage you to take advantage of campus safety resources, such as police escorts, campus alerts and our mobile safety app. A full list of resources is available online.
CLICK HERE to read the email in full.
Investigators say if you think you witnessed anything strange in the area of the attack, no matter how insignificant, please call 911 as the investigation continues.
Richmond County deputies are at the scene of an incident at an apartment on Walton Way.
Authorities say a woman was found bound and gagged at an apartment building on the 2500 block of Walton Way.That’s near Augusta University.
Officials tell us the victim has been taken to Augusta University Medical Center for treatment.
No suspect description has been released.
Investigators tell us they are currently treating this as an isolated incident.
Count on NewsChannel 6 for more on this developing story