MAPLEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A quiet New Jersey town is on edge after authorities say a 24-year-old woman was followed into her home and sexually assaulted in broad daylight.
Prosecutors say the victim first encountered her alleged attacker around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. The man then followed the woman to her Maplewood home, where he forced his way inside and assaulted her, prosecutors say.
Police were called to the home around noon.
“The street was cordoned off so I parked there, walked up, and there was a couple of Essex County Prosecutor units out there,” said neighbor Jeff Schoner. “I saw the owner of the house out there and I asked what happened, he said home break in.”
Schoner tells CBS2 he got an alert from police hours later.
“He looked more distraught than just a break in, because I said ‘at least no one got hurt’,” said Schoner. “Now I know why he looked so distraught.
The woman was rushed to an area hospital, where she was treated and released.
Authorities have not yet released a description for the suspect. Meanwhile, police have stepped up patrols in the Essex County town, and have advised residents not to open their doors to strangers as the alleged assailant remains at large.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Homicide/Major Crimes Task Force at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432.