MARTIN COUNTY, Fla. – Martin County deputies canvassed the Manatee Creek neighborhood Monday afternoon, looking for a man who sexually assaulted a ten-year-old girl Sunday.
Sheriff William Snyder said deputies have had little sleep trying to catch the man who lured the girl into the woods by saying he was looking for his lost dog.
Deputies said the victim was playing at the Manatee Creek Park with her two younger siblings around 4:30 p.m. when the man approached.
Investigators said the girl fought her attacker for roughly five minutes before he took off running north along the train tracks.
"This is one of those nightmare tragedies that every parent hopes they never see or experience," the sheriff said.
Even though it happened in a neighborhood park, sheriff Snyder said parents should always keep a close eye on their children. "We want parents to remember this, you got to stay with your children, you have to know where your children are at all times and we have to teach our children no matter what reason an adult says come with me, there's never a reason for a child to walk off with an adult that he or she doesn't know."
More than a dozen witnesses told investigators the man is described as a white male, in his 20s, about 5'9" with a slim build.
He was last seen wearing a blue and white striped shirt and had a cast or brace on one of his hands.
Detectives are working on releasing a composite sketch of the suspect.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to contact the Martin County Sheriff's Office at 772.220.7170.