Residents question why police waited months to release report of sexual assault

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Wrightsville Beach police are looking for two men after they say a woman was abducted on North Lumina Avenue in the early morning hours last February.

They say the victim was taking out the trash when she was grabbed, thrown into a dark colored vehicle, repeatedly sexually assaulted by the men, then left on the street.

UNCW student Alex Canady frequently exercises on Wrightsville Beach. She says this is shocking to hear.

“It’s pretty alarming that it happened here in Wrightsville Beach because it’s not like there’s big neighborhoods and there’s not really anywhere to hide,” Canady said. “That’s kind of weird to me.”

“That sounds like something that would never happen to you, or its some foreign concept,” Wrightsville Beach resident Alexa Murray said.

In this case, police say the victim waited until August to report the incident.

“I understand it from her perspective too just because that’s a tough subject to talk about,” Murray said.

What has residents scratching their heads is why police waited so long to release information.

“I wish they would let the community know just so other people aware, just so it won’t happen again,” Murray said.

Typically, Murray says there’s a heavy police presence on the island.

“I guess that’s why I feel safe here, just walking up and down the street,” Murray added. “I always see police cars driving by.”

Despite usually feeling safe, she says the way the case has been handled makes her feel uncomfortable.

“It’s just uneasy,” Murray said. “It kind of feels like a secret I guess. Like they were trying to keep it on the down low.”

Wrightsville Beach Police say the delay is due to the sensitivity of the case. They were deciding whether or not to involve the public at all.

If you recognize the men in the sketches, contact Wrightsville Beach Police Department.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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