Daytona Beach Shores, FL - An extra $5,000 reward is now available for anyone who can help detectives find whoever raped a 68-year-old woman on the sands of Daytona Beach Shores during the start of Labor Day weekend.
Speaking to reporters earlier today (September 4th), Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said a good lead is needed to crack this case open since there are "zero eyewitnesses".
"This guy's a predator," Chitwood added. "This guy's going to strike again and we need to get our hands on him as quick as possible."
The new reward money would come from the Florida Sheriff’s Association based on any tips reported directly to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, according to VCSO spokesperson Andrew Gant. It's separate from the $5,000 already being offered through Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida.
According to Chitwood, the victim was walking alone on the beach when someone approached her from behind, knocked her unconscious with a blow to her face, then sexually assaulted her.
"Every morning, she takes a walk from her residence on the beach down to the pier where Crabby Joe's is and then turns around and walks home," Chitwood noted.
When she regained consciousness afterward, her clothes were missing from the waist down, but she managed to get help from the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety a short time later.
A medical exam done afterward showed evidence that she was sexually battered, which is when VCSO stepped in to take the case.
Her injuries were not life-threatening.
Per the incident report, the victim told deputies she had left her condo while it was still dark with low visibility and that she did not regain consciousness until the sun was starting to rise.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 888-277-TIPS or through the P3Tips app available on the Crime Stoppers website. Tipsters can remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward.