Pa. police believe rape suspect is from Maine

Posted Aug. 06, 2010, at 5:29 p.m.

State police and federal authorities in Pennsylvania are asking for the public’s help in finding a suspect in a brazen daytime kidnapping and rape that reportedly occurred Tuesday in the Allegheny National Forest.

An official with the Pennsylvania State Police said Friday that investigators have reason to believe that the suspect might be from the Gardiner area and that his vehicle is registered in Maine.

The attack occurred about 3 p.m. Tuesday at the Kinzua Point Information Center, according to a news release issued by Pennsylvania authorities.

An unknown man approached a couple, forced them to the ground at gunpoint and tied the male up with rope and duct tape. He then forced the woman into his pickup truck and left the area with her.

The male victim freed himself and alerted nearby people, who called police, according to the news release.

The suspect allegedly took the woman to the Red Bridge area of McKeen County, where he sexually assaulted her and then let her go. The woman was found by state police troopers who were canvassing the area searching for her.

The suspect is described as white, 30 to 40 years old, with short hair, possibly balding, with a dark scruffy beard. His vehicle is described as a black, late 1990s Chevrolet or Ford pickup truck, possibly with red pinstripes and chrome grill.

Police also said the suspect reportedly identified himself as “Mark” to area residents he came in contact with at bars and other places.

Pennsylvania state and federal officials are working with their counterparts in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York state in an effort to locate the suspect.

Anyone with information about the man or his vehicle is urged to contact the Pennsylvania State Police at 814-728-3600.

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