DUNSMUIR, Ca.– A brutal home invasion in Siskiyou County resulted in the arrest of a teenage boy accused of trying to murder and rape an elderly stranger.
It was a morning of traumatizing terror in Dunsmuir in what the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office is calling “heinous crimes” against an elderly woman.
In the early morning hours on Thursday, the sheriff’s office received a distressing call from a resident who reported her house on Butterfly Avenue had been broken into. Once deputies arrived, they learned the woman had been kidnapped and assaulted.
“It’s something you don’t see everyday and very very unfortunate,” said Sheriff Jon Lopey. “Very tragic chain of events.”
According to the sheriff’s office, an unidentified teenager broke into the Dunsmuir woman’s home around 5 a.m. Investigators say the 17-year-old strangled her, attempted to rape her, then kidnapped her, stealing her car and driving to a bank.
Once there, the teen is accused of withdrawing a large amount of cash from the woman’s account by using her bank cards which he stole along with several other valuable items.
“It is an unusual crime,” said Lopey. “But unfortunately, it’s becoming a little bit more too common in our county and many other jurisdictions.”
One underlying problem, the sheriff’s office is seeing – drugs. According to reports, the teenager admitted to being high on butane honey oil, a concentrated form of
“He claimed that he consumed marijuana prior to the incident,” said Lopey, after officers arrested the teenager. According to Lopey, deputies were able to locate the suspect since he had remained in Dunsmuir with the woman’s car eight hours after it had been reported stolen.
One of the victim’s neighbors says however, drugs have been an issue in the area for years.
“I don’t know why the small towns attract the drug element,” said resident Kathay Edmondson. “But we’ve always had a problem with that here.”
Edmondson says she heard nothing the morning of the incident but she is still shocked something like this has happened.
“You know, you keep looking for what could I have done to help her,” she said. “So I don’t know… I don’t know. Cameras on our houses?”
According to Edmondson all the neighbors are pretty shaken, upset and confused. Most are unsure how the woman is doing after she was rushed to the hospital, apparently traumatized from the incident. The sheriff’s office did not have a current update but from initial reports, she was still recovering at the hospital and would be allowed to return home soon.
Still, the safety residents once felt has been torn apart by this event.
“This is horrendous. This is something she’ll never get over,” said Edmondson. “Hopefully time will heal and the community too.”
The teenager will be facing multiple charges including home invasion, attempted murder, attempted rape and elder abuse. He could possibly be charged as an adult as well resulting in heftier penalties.
NBC5 News Reporter Miles Furuichi graduated from Chapman University with degrees in English and Journalism. He received post graduate experience in Los Angeles in photojournalism and commercial photography. He also spent time in Dublin, Ireland working in print journalism and advertising.
Miles is a Rogue Valley native, raised in Ashland. He enjoys hiking, mountain biking and photography.