Authorities say a 29-year-old woman was doing laundry on her back porch when she was attacked around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
Police say at least two men grabbed her, tied her up, and covered her eyes with duct tape. The victim was then raped in her own backyard, while her eight-year-old daughter slept inside. Her husband was not at home.
Police believe the victim was picked at random, but call the attack well-orchestrated.
They say the suspects unscrewed a lightbulb on the porch so it would be dark, and placed a piece of wood on the ground where they eventually took the woman and assaulted her.
Fayetteville Police Sgt. Tim Hayworth says the victim was knocked unconscious. "When she awoke, the suspects were gone and she screamed for help. A neighbor found her and freed her."
Wednesday, detectives canvassed the neighborhood, asking residents if they saw anyone or anything suspicious Tuesday night.
Officials are also taking extra precautions.
"We've beefed up our forces out there," Fayetteville Police Maj. Robert Shambley said. "We've got mounted patrol out there. All our investigators that are available are working it. And we aren't relaxing on it one bit."
The police department has offered to install a panic button in the victim's home to help her feel safer. They are also providing counseling to her and her family.
Norma Hall, from Victims Assistance, knows the incident will scare people in the neighborhood. She suggests "they basically need to continue to take as many precautions as they can to make them feel safer."
Cheryln Axline is one of those residents feeling afraid. "I'm protected because I have a dog upstairs, but still if they grab me and gag me, there's not much you could do. You just hope your neighbors are looking."