KDPS seeks suspect in abduction, rape

The intersection of University and Fairview streets in Kalamazoo, near where a young woman was abducted before being sexually assaulted. (Feb. 5, 2014)

KALAMAZOO,  Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo police are asking for the public’s help to find the suspect in a reported abduction and rape.

The female victim, a 24-year-old city resident, told the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety she was walking in the area of Fairview and University avenues around 1 a.m. Wednesday when a red pickup truck stopped near her.

The driver of the truck grabbed her, she said. They struggled and he forced her into the truck and then drove to another area.

The man then sexually assaulted the woman, according to KDPS.

He later released her near where she had been taken.

The suspect is described as an about 5-foot-7 or 6-foot tall, white male in his late 30s with dirty blonde or brown hair. He had a short beard and was described as “scruffy-looking.”

He was wearing oval glasses, a black or brown, “puffy,” winter coat, dark pants and an orange, hunting-style, knit hat.

He was driving a red, extended cap pickup truck with a back seat and a stick shift. It was described as a few years old. The seats were cream-colored and the dashboard was gray. It had a 2×4 board sticking out of the bed, KDPS said.

Anyone with more information about this incident is asked to call KDPS at 269.337.8994 or Silent Observer at 269.343.2100.

Residents in the area where the woman was abducted said their neighborhood is not the type where serious crimes happen.

Dana Vandergenugten, her sister and their roommate — all women in their mid-20s — were shocked when they learned about the attack.

“We chose this quiet, little neighborhood on this quiet, little street. Definitely shocked; very, very surprised and sad. That’s awful,” Vandergenugten said.

She said she is surprised she didn’t hear anything.

“It’s a really old house and I normally hear everything in the house, so I would think if there was a loud scream, I would have heard it. And I didn’t wake up or anything in the middle of the night,” she said.

“Obviously, it’s very upsetting. That poor girl. I can’t even imagine the position she is in now,” she continued.

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