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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Police investigate rape near Laws Hall

MUPD is using security cameras and other tools in an effort to identify a suspect.

March 2, 2011

The MU Police Department is continuing the search for a suspect in a rape that occurred early Tuesday morning outside of Laws Residence Hall.

“We’re using cameras and anything available to us to gather more information about the incident,” MUPD Capt. Brian Weimer said.

According to an MUPD news release, the victim said a man approached her between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., started asking her questions, then assaulted and raped her. The suspect, who the victim described as an older college-age male, ran south toward parking lot WG-6 after the attack. The victim alerted MUPD at about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

“She was taken to the hospital for an exam, but she was not kept there,” Weimer said.

Department of Residential Life Director Frankie Minor said his department worked with MUPD to make the rest of the student body aware of the incident.

“We worked closely with the police department to convey the information and make sure students in the area, and all residence hall students on campus, were aware of what had been reported,” Minor said.

Weimer said cases of assault by a stranger are very rare on campus.

“We haven’t had a stranger incident in many years,” Weimer said. “I can only remember one in my time here. It’s not something that happens very often at all.”

Weimer said this is the first rape reported to MUPD this year. Minor said he believes most students feel safe in the residence halls.

“I think security in the residence halls is good,” Minor said. “Tragically, this incident occurred outside of the residence hall, but I think we have a good system that we’ve worked to integrate with MUPD.”

Minor said he encourages students in residence halls to take advantage of their resources and look out for each other.

“One great thing about the residence halls is the sense of community,” Minor said. “We have keys, locks and cameras, but the best security is another set of eyes. Rely on your community and friends to keep an eye out for each other and report suspicious people in the area.”

MUPD asks anyone with information to call Detective Michael Laughlin at (573) 884-2605 or Crime Stoppers at (573) 875-8477. Tips may also be submitted online at 875tips.com. Anyone with information can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,500 if the information leads to an arrest.

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