Great Smokies Suspect Being Hunted After Brutal Assault

Authorities have been searching tirelessly for a man they say raped and stabbed a female hiker at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.

The National Park Service released a sketch of the assailant along with a reward worth $5,000 for anyone who helps lead to the arrest of the dangerous man.

The victim, a 44 year-old Kentucky woman, was hiking along the Gatlinburg Trail on Friday when she was pummeled by an unknown man who began to stab her in the neck, shoulder, and hands. Her attacker then raped her and fled the scene.

The woman was able to make her way to the Gatlinburg Bypass where she flagged down a motorist who then called for help. She was then airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville for her injuries and released on Sunday.

According to CNN, the battered woman describes the man as a white male in his 40s, of thin build, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a dirty blond crew cut and a thin mustache. He was wearing glasses, black dress pants and a gray T-shirt. Multiple tattoos include an unknown word across his abdomen.

National Park worker Melissa Cobern has informed local reporters that wanted posters have been posted throughout the park as well as surrounding towns.

“You never know who’s going to have information on the case. We’re not just focusing on the park, but on local communities,” she says.

Chief Ranger Clay Jordan has stated that they are committed to bringing the aggressor to justice, saying that “working together with the assistance of the public, I am optimistic that we can solve this case.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the Great Smokies suspect are asked to call the tip line at 865-436-1580.

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