Sheriff's department searching for assault suspect

The man is charged with assaulting a 19-year-old in her Columbia home.

As of Monday night, Boone County sheriff's deputies are searching for a 23-year-old St. Louis man charged with assaulting a 19-year-old woman Oct. 15 in Columbia.

The victim told deputies the suspect, Brian Burns, broke into her home at 1:30 a.m. and sexually assaulted her. The suspect and victim knew each other previously, according to a news release from the Boone County Sheriff's Department last week.

Burns has friends in Columbia and might still be in the area, detective Tom O'Sullivan said.

"He is still not in custody," O'Sullivan said. "It's anybody's guess as to whether or not he is still in the area. He has ties to St. Louis, and he knows we're looking for him."

Burns has been charged with sexual assault, felonious restraint and first-degree burglary in the Oct. 15 incident, but he also has an extensive criminal history including counts of burglary and assault, O'Sullivan said.

Crime Stoppers is offering a reward and is asking anyone with information about Burns' whereabouts to immediately call 911 or contact CrimeStoppers at 875-TIPS.

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