Originally created 03/27/04

Suspect charged after manhunt



An Aiken man was arrested after a two-hour manhunt in the Nicholson Village area Friday night, charged with sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in an abandoned home.

Elbert Blocker, 21, of Joanne Drive, was taken into custody by Aiken County sheriff's officials at 9:25 p.m., Lt. Michael Frank said. He was being charged with criminal sexual conduct.

The assault occurred at about 7:30 p.m. in an abandoned home off Nicholson Drive. Details of how the suspect allegedly lured the girl to the location were not immediately available Friday night.

Aiken County sheriff's deputies and members of the Aiken Bloodhound Team descended on the neighborhood off Wagener Road in a intensive search for the suspect, and a large crowd of residents gathered at the scene.

A roadblock was set up on both ends of Main Drive during the search for Mr. Blocker, who was identified as a suspect early in the investigation.

One deputy chased Mr. Blocker on foot for a short distance before losing him, Lt. Frank said. Working the neighborhood door to door, deputies eventually found Mr. Blocker hiding inside a mobile home of a friend less than 200 yards from the house where the assault occurred.

The victim was given a sexual assault examination at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

Aside from the trauma incurred by the assault, the girl had no physical injuries, Lt. Frank said.

Mr. Blocker was being held at the Aiken County Detention Center without bond Friday. An initial court appearance was scheduled for today.