Originally created 09/06/00

Soldier is assaulted in home



The Richmond County Sheriff's Department is keeping mum about a young Fort Gordon soldier found viciously attacked in her home Tuesday.

Maj. Ken Autry, head of the Criminal Investigations Division, would confirm only that the department is investigating an assault at 3310 Oakridge Drive - located off Jackson Road near Daniel Field.

Rural/Metro spokeswoman Valerie Spratlin said the victim, who is in her early 20s, was unconscious, barely breathing and appeared to have been assaulted. She was rushed to Doctors Hospital - the closest emergency room - where she is in critical condition, Ms. Spratlin said.

The woman was found Tuesday morning after her commanding officer and a fellow soldier came to the brick, ranch-style home at about 10:30 a.m. when she did not report to the Army base. The two went across the street and asked David Shumake if they could use his phone, telling him that a back door appeared to have been forced open, Mr. Shumake said. A gray GMC Suburban was parked in the driveway with its windows rolled down and Food Lion grocery bags still inside.

The woman and her husband, also a soldier, have lived in the neighborhood only a few months, neighbors said. The couple threw a party Saturday night, and next-door neighbor Danny Andette, 16, said he had not seen her since she pulled out of her driveway at about 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Other neighbors said investigators questioned them, but offered them few details on what was found inside the house.

"That's the whole confusing thing," Mr. Shumake said. "You never know when it could happen again in the same area. It'd be nice to know so we could know what to look out for."

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or jedwards92@hotmail.com.