10- year-old girl assaulted at park; search continues for Martin County sex predator

Sheriff asking for public's help

The search continued Monday for a man who sexually assaulted a 10 year-old Martin County girl, luring her into the woods at a community park. He did that by telling her that his dog was missing and he needed help.

 

It's a crime that has shaken the Manatee Creek neighborhood of Port Salerno.

 

When a friend of Prince Baptiste told him about an available apartment in Manatee Creek, he was thrilled.

 

"We said that's good for the kid because he just walk across and play," said Baptiste.

 

That's because Manatee Creek Park would literally serve as the front yard for Baptiste's 2 year-old son Jaden.

But the two year-old park now the scene of a horrific crime.

 

Michelle Long lives across the street. She saw a handful of young girls playing late Sunday afternoon.

 

"There were no adults but the girls have lived here, I see them playing every day," said Long.

 

One of those girls, a 10 year-old, was lured into the woods by the railroad tracks and sexually assaulted.

 

Martin County Sheriff William Snyder says whether it's a phone tip, or a tip on their Facebook page, they need the public's help.

 

"We can't do something like this alone.  We need the help from the citizens," said Snyder.

 

For Baptiste, who could look out his living room window and see the kids playing, Sunday's crime is sobering.

 

"It's just kind of scary to find out that's happening right here.  Especially in broad daylight. You got to look out even more now. Doesn't matter what time it is," said Baptiste.

 

The sheriff's office is following up on a number of leads. 

 

The suspect, a white male with blond hair in his 20's wearing some sort of cast or brace on his hand.

 

He was last seen walking north along the railroad tracks toward Cove Road. If you have any information, call the Martin County Sheriff's Office.

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