NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A chilling sexual assault case involving a 78-year-old woman has rocked a section of Queens.

On Sunday, police were looking for her attacker, CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported.

Police were standing guard outside of the Rosedale home where they say the woman was raped, and neighbors were both upset and also left wondering how this could have happened.

They said the house, located on 148th Avenue, is vacant and has been for some time. The front doors are boarded up and locked. Behind those doors, investigators were photographing the scene and collecting evidence.

Earlier, Kozar watched officers carry brown evidence bags out of the house. They also placed evidence markers outside of the home, which was said to be in shambles. Neighbors said the electricity was turned off a while ago and some have seen squatters coming and going.

Police said the rape happened around 6 a.m. Sunday and they are still searching for the suspect.

Among the neighbors Kozar met was Heather Palmer, who lives across the street and said she lives in a safe, family neighborhood. She said she was stunned that such a heinous crime could have happened there.

“Really, that house was supposed to be empty. That’s what we know. Everyone moved out. It was locked up. So there shouldn’t be anyone living in that house,” Palmer said.

“I’m more nervous that this happened right next door to me. I’m insulted and shocked and I feel sick,” added neighbor Melissa Graham.

Police released a few details about the suspected attacker, describing him as in his 30s, about 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, and has dreadlocks.

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