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Neighborhood Reacts To Rape

April 11, 2012, 10:06 PM by Derek Olson

Neighborhood Reacts To Rape
BELLE FOURCHE, SD -

Law enforcement officials in Belle Fourche are looking for a man who they say broke into a home and raped a woman.

The sexual assault happened in a neighborhood on the north side of town.

"It's very scary and it's very sad.  It's just, we all live here.  It's peaceful, and we just don't have these kind of troubles," neighbor Cathy Breeding said.

Breeding lives in the neighborhood where it happened and says these kinds of things just don't happen in the small, prairie town.

"It's just right down the street, and I've never been in a situation like this before and I've lived all around the world," Breeding said.

Authorities say the rape happened Tuesday around 5:30 a.m.  But, news of the attack wasn't made public until Wednesday afternoon.

Police say the reason a news release wasn't issued sooner is that it was early in the investigation.  And with fear running high in the community, they didn't want to make matters worse.

The suspect is described as a white man, between 5' 8" and 6" tall with a stocky build. He likely has fresh scratches on his face and hands.

He is still at large, which has this community hoping he's brought to justice before he can strike again.

"We don't know when it might happen. I've lived my whole 57 years without it happening.  But I still don't know that it will never happen to me," Breeding said.

And although the fear and anxiety over the attack is fresh; so is compassion for the victim.

"To know of something like this and to know people who are a part of this family, it's just sad; it's just horrible," Breeding said.

The Belle Fourche Police Department, Butte County Sheriff, and the state Department of Criminal Investigation are investigating.

If you have any information you're asked to call 605-892-3324.

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