GWU Police Announce Increase in Cash Reward for Sexual Assault Investigation

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$5,000 Cash Reward Offered for Information Leading to Arrest/Conviction of Woman’s Rapist

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Gardner-Webb University Police announced they would double the cash reward of $2500 previously offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man who attacked and raped a young woman on Oct. 1 near the Lake Hollifield complex on the University campus.  Officials say they are now offering $5,000 to the person who can shed light on the assault and they hope the offer of more money might compel someone with evidence pertinent to the case to come forward.

On Tuesday, Oct. 1 around 9 p.m., a Gardner-Webb graduate reported she was walking on the path along Lake Hollifield when she was attacked from behind and raped.  She was not able to offer many details on the assailant, other than he had a beard, a southern accent, and that he had a smoky/burnt odor about him.  Officials have utilized surveillance footage from cameras at GWU apartments to confirm the presence of several individuals along the path within the same time frame.  At this point, the investigation has resulted in very few leads.

Chief Barry Johnson said that officers are reviewing all possibilities and are carefully reviewing information gathered to date.  Officers with the Boiling Springs Police Department and the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office are assisting Gardner-Webb University Police in the investigation.

The case has sparked a renewed awareness about the importance of safety on and off campus.

Authorities continue to encourage students to remain vigilant and observant of their surroundings at all times.  They suggest utilizing the buddy system and walking in pairs especially at night.  University police have increased their campus patrols throughout the evening hours, and as always are available to escort any student, faculty member, or staff member who may not have someone to accompany them by calling 704-406-4444.

If you or someone you know has information that may be helpful in this case, please contact campus police at 704-406-4444.  All calls are confidential and officers ensure anonymity.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University blends a liberal arts core curriculum with more than 55 major and minor professional programs of study, a comprehensive academic experience that flows from our Christian commitment to intellectual freedom, service and leadership.