Hope Mills, N.C. — Cumberland County sheriff’s detectives were searching for an unknown man Wednesday morning after a Hope Mills woman reported that he kicked in her front door, raped her and tried to rob her before running away.
Investigators said they were called to the woman's home off Legion Road shortly before 7:30 a.m.
The man was last seen wearing a mask and a fur-trimmed brown coat. Sheriff’s K9s were combing the area and last tracked the man near a vacant home near the woman's house, according to detectives.
Anyone with information, or who may have seen a suspicious-looking man in the area, is urged to contact the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at 910-323-1500.
"In the meantime, Sheriff Earl R. Butler is warning residents to be extremely cautious," the sheriff's office said in a news release. "Keep doors and windows to your homes secured and areas well lit. If you see any unusual activity in your neighborhood, contact the sheriff’s office immediately."
"It makes me sick. It's very disturbing for something like this to happen, and to happen so close to home also," said Richard Whitley, a Legion Road resident.
Butler said there is no indication that Wednesday's attack is linked to a series of rapes in the Fayetteville area since 2009.
"We don't see any similarities right now," he said. "Of course, we always talk back and forth with the city and surrounding areas about rapes."