Updated 10/11 6:56pm by Jerry Askin
It's been a little over a month and there's still no new information on two rapes that took place over a seven day stretch in Apalachicola.
Apalachicola Police are still waiting for DNA samples from the two reported rape victims. Police say the first reported rape happened September 5th around 4:50 AM at Rex Buzzett Street and Avenue M. The victim was a 47-year old woman.
Seven days later, Apalachicola Police say a man raped an 18-year old woman around 1:30 AM on James Clay Street.
Apalachicola resident Marsha Young says, "I'm not scared, but I am more aware and more cautious - that seems to be the smart thing to do. Just be a little more alert."
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says their investigation is still ongoing and when it is complete, the information will be released to the Apalachicola Police Department.
Updated 9/16 5:45pm
Apalachicola Police are investigating two reported rapes that happened within a week apart.
That has women afraid to go out at night.
Jessica Montgomery says she'd rather walk her dog in the rain than wait until after dark like usual.
"That's all that's running around our county, our home now, is fear." Said, Montgomery.
The fear stems from alleged rapes in Apalachicola. Police say they've had two reports within seven days of each other.
Montgomery says the latest victim is her friend.
Police say at 1:30 Sunday (Sept. 12th) morning, a man wearing a mask attacked the 18-year-old near James Clay Street.
It's believed he had a gun.
Montgomery said, "I've been in this place my whole life and I've never been scared to go anywhere to do anything and to be around anybody. Now, I don't even want to leave my house. My doors are locked 24/7."
Police say on September 5th, a 47-year-old woman reported that a man on a bicycle pushed her to the ground, and raped her around 4:50 that morning near Rex Buzzett Street and Avenue M.
Resident Wanda Bair says that victim is her friend. Bair said, "She's still in bad shape over that. She's always got a note on her door, 'do not disturb.' She won't even answer the door for anybody. She's really afraid."
Police say the women could not identify their attacker, and say authorities are unsure, at this time, if the incidents are related.
Area resident Sandra Jenkins said, "I'm afraid and it's terrifying because you don't know what to expect. You're going in your house, you're looking all around checking."
Residents say they hope a suspect is caught soon before their coastal paradise permanently becomes a fear-driven community.
Police say they have a few suspects and say they expect DNA samples from the victims to come back by Friday, September 17th.
Apalachicola, Florida (Press Release) --
The Apalachicola Police Department, Franklin County Sheriff’s office, and FDLE, are investigating reports of two rapes in Apalachicola. They are unsure they are related at this time. Both have occurred over the last 10 days.
A rush order has been put in with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for results of DNA samples taken from the two female victims. The first alleged sexual battery took place on Sept. 5 about 4:50a.m at Rex Buzzett Street and Avenue M. The victim was attacked by a subject on a bicycle and was pushed to the ground; however, The victim could not identify her assailant because it was too dark outside.
The second alleged sexual battery took place Sunday, Sept. 12th at 1:30am at James Clay Street Between 21st and 22nd Ave. In this case, the attacker was wearing a mask and its believed a gun was used.
The Apalachicola Police Department is confident they’ll solve these sexual attacks. Police have begun by looking at all sexual offenders in the area as well as men who have served time in prison. If the DNA samples collected come back with defined characteristics, they can be compared to that of men who have been in prison and suspects can be identified quickly.
The Apalachicola Police urges women in the city to be cautious about their surroundings, make sure your doors and windows are locked, and yards lighted. Please report any suspicious activity to the authorities , or if anyone has any information that would assist in the investigation you are asked to call the Apalachicola Police Department at 850-653-9755 or the Franklin County Sheriff Office at 850-670-8500.