Police release sketch of Columbia rape suspect, reward to up to $5,000

WASHINGTON — Howard County police have released a composite sketch of a suspect being sought for rape and assault in a Columbia, Maryland apartment complex this week.

The reward in the case has been increased to up to $5,000.

Police were able to get a more detailed description from the victim,  who is a woman in her 30s. The victim reported to detectives that a man she did not know approached her inside the Columbia Landing Apartments in the 8900 block of Tamar Drive and tried to engage her in conversation. She said that the man suddenly pulled her into a vacant apartment, where he physically assaulted and raped her. He did not display a weapon.

After the attack, the woman ran from the unit to another apartment to seek assistance. Police have found no evidence of forced entry into the vacant apartment and believe the man may have been staying there. No other similar crimes have been reported.

The victim does not reside in the apartment building, but believes she recalls seeing the same man in the area sometime in the last week.

The victim described the suspect as a black male with short dreadlocks or braids that are 2-3” in length and gold-colored or bleached in color. She told detectives he has pronounced cheek bones and that the pigment of his cheeks appears darker than the rest of his face, which she described as a medium complexion.

The suspect is possibly in his 30s or older, with a muscular, medium build. He was wearing black sweatpants and no shirt.

Investigators ask residents who may have seen a man resembling the suspect, or matching his description, to call police at 410-313-STOP.

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