STEVENSVILLE — A woman was assaulted Monday night, Sept. 20, at Grand Mere State Park, Lincoln Township Police Department reported.
According to a Sept. 21 news release, the woman, 18, had walked into the park to hammock around 6 p.m. She told police that she was there for some time and was getting ready to leave, when a white man in his 30s approached her.
The victim told police the next thing she remembered was waking up on the ground in pain from the assault. After regaining consciousness, she called police around 8 p.m. According to the release, the victim did not know how long she had been unconscious.
The assailant has been described as having dark hair and wore a white shirt. Medic 1 transported the victim to Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center, where it was determined she suffered injuries to her head and face.
Lincoln Township Police Chief Gary Soper told The Herald-Palladium the victim has since been released from the hospital. Soper said the woman had been physically and sexually assaulted.
The release stated Lincoln Township police and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department K-9 teams conducted a search of the park. A heat-sensing drone from the sheriff’s department was also used.
No suspect was found, but evidence from the crime scene will be sent to the Michigan State Police Crime Lab for processing. Soper said the evidence will likely be processed Wednesday, while the department is already investigating several tips.
Investigators plan to work with the victim and a state police sketch artist to provide a composite sketch of the suspect, when the victim is ready, Soper said. Once the sketch is available, it and any other update will be posted to the department’s Facebook page.
Lincoln Township police were assisted by the Lincoln Township Fire Department, Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, St. Joseph Township Police Department and Medic 1 Ambulance services, the release stated.
This is the second assault to occur at the park this year. Another woman, 28, was assaulted at Grand Mere State Park on April 1, while walking her dog.
In the previous assault, the woman told investigators the male suspect came from behind and pushed her to the ground. After that, he began kicking and punching her. She fought back, and her dog bit the man, so she was able to run back to her car and call 911.
Soper said the police are considering the possibility that the two assaults are connected, but he does not want to speculate.
“That’s fresh in our minds,” Soper said.
Anyone with information on Monday’s assault should contact Lincoln Township police at 269-429-2444 or Michiana Crime Stoppers at 800-342-STOP, the release said.