Neighbors asking why Raleigh police took more than a week to notify them of sexual assault

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh police are trying to find a man they say went into a woman’s home near North Hills Drive earlier this month and sexually assaulted her, while neighbors are asking why they didn’t hear about the incident sooner.

In a Facebook post on April 16, Raleigh police wrote that the assault happened around 4 a.m. on April 7 when a woman woke up to find a stranger in her home. She told police the man assaulted her before taking off. Police have not made an arrest.

“So, it definitely is alarming that something like that would happen so close, especially,” said Kayla Hill, who lives in Raleigh. “I mean, that’s something pretty major to be going on in our community. So, I am surprised that we didn’t hear about it sooner.”

Police say no similar incidents have been reported in the North Hills Drive area recently.

“Me being a woman, I feel like sometimes things aren’t put out as quickly as they should,” said Cassandra McBurrough, of Raleigh. “That’s where the frustration comes from. I can’t prepare myself if they don’t tell me.”

CBS 17 learned Raleigh police are investigating whether the incident is connected to a sexual assault and robbery on Nov. 3 that occurred off Beacon Village Drive near the intersection of New Bern Avenue and New Hope Road. A 49-year-old woman told police that a man broke a sliding glass door to get inside her home before raping her.

RPD issued a press release about the incident about a month later on Dec. 4.

CBS 17 asked RPD about the timeline for notifying the public about incidents like these. In an email, RPD spokeswoman Laura Hourigan wrote:

After an incident occurs, it is assigned to the detective division, who conducts a thorough follow-up investigation. Each case is evaluated to determine the level of threat to the community and the public at large. If the need arises, they will get information out as soon as possible to alert the public; however, sharing information about a case too soon could compromise the leads that detectives are following-up on. During that follow-up investigation, they will canvass an area and speak to other residents to gather information and follow-up on the strength and validity of leads. Once those leads are exhausted, they will find alternative methods of assistance, including reaching out to the public affairs office to distribute information to the public.

She also noted in the case earlier this month, “There is not much of a description to give, which is why we did not put the information out as a press release.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call 919-834-HELP or text “raleightips” to 274637 (Raleigh Crime Stoppers).

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