The Lake County Sheriff's Office has released a sketch and description of a suspect they say attacked and sexually assaulted a teen girl who was walking along the Robert McClory Bike Path in suburban Beach Park on Monday.
The 16-year-old was walking at about 7:30 p.m. when a man "came out of the tree line and approached the victim" on the path just north of Yorkhouse Road, according to the sheriff's office.
"After approaching the victim, he took her forcefully by the neck and shoved her to the ground," according to a statement from the sheriff's office spokesman. "He then forcefully removed her clothing and sexually assaulted her."
A nearby resident heard the teen screaming during the attack and started yelling to her to run to them for help. The man ran away, and the teen ran to the resident, who called 911 for help. The teen was taken to an area hospital for treatment from injuries during the attack.
A search for the man by sheriff’s deputies and K-9 units turned up a trail that ultimately went cold, with authorities saying they believe the man escaped in a vehicle.
Police said the man had "numerous metal hair barrettes in his hair, which is a very unique identifier." The suspect is described as a Black man, in his late teens or early 20s. He is approximately 5-feet-11 inches tall, and has a slender build.
The man also had numerous metallic barrettes in his hair, according to police.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Lake County Sheriff’s Criminal Investigations Division at 847-377-4000.