STEVENSVILLE — On Friday, Oct. 8, police released a sketch of a suspect in a September assault at Grand Mere State Park.
Lincoln Township Police Chief Garret Soper said the alleged assault took place Sept. 20 at the state-owned park, and the sketch was developed with help from the victim, along with a Michigan State Police sketch artist.
The suspect is described as a white man in his 30s, about 6 feet tall with dark hair and an athletic build, possibly driving a silver or gray SUV.
The woman, 18, had walked into the park to hammock at about 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 and told police she was there for some time and was getting ready to leave, when the assailant 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.
Soper said Lincoln Township police have been following up on multiple tips and are patrolling the park as much as shift coverage, call volumes and resources allow since an earlier assault was reported in April.
Evidence has been submitted to the MSP crime lab in Grand Rapids.
Grand Mere State Park is owned by the state of Michigan, so unlike Lincoln Township-owned parks, the local police department has no authority to place any recording devices on the property.
Soper said he has been in contact with the Department of Natural Resources regarding possible additional security measures.
Further, the chief said, patrols at the park have increased dramatically between Lincoln Township police officers, park rangers and DNR conservation officers.
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.
Anyone seeing anything suspicious is asked to immediately call police, and anyone with information should call Lincoln Township police at 429-2444.