CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston Police are investigating a home invasion and sexual assault that occurred in the early-morning hours Monday.
Police say the incident happened between 2:30 a.m. and 4 a.m. at a Chadwick Drive residence in the Old Windermere neighborhood off Highway 17 in West Ashley.
The victim told police she was awakened by a strange man who had entered her home. During the incident, the victim was sexually assaulted, investigators say.
After the assault, the suspect left the residence in an unknown direction.
One neighbor said she found out about this after an email was sent out to residents in the area. The neighbor did not want to be identified because of the circumstances. She says they have had a few incidents with things being stolen out of people's cars but nothing to this extent.
"No house break-ins. Definitely no sexual assaults that we know of. I think it's a shock to everybody," she said.
She said neighbors are active and friendly and there are many children, a reason something like this has her worried.
"I'm just trying to understand how something can happen that close to your home and a location you feel so safe in… We all have children that live right around her house. There's also a school here. And to know that something happened somewhere so open… It's really scary."
Neighbors say their thoughts and prayers go out to the woman.
"I just hope everybody stays safe and the girl that that happened to can find some peace and recover from that experience," the neighbor said.
Since the incident was reported, detectives and crime scene technicians have been processing the crime scene, canvassing the neighborhood for evidence, and conducting proactive patrols throughout the area.
Police are asking for the community's assistance in solving this crime.
Anyone who was in the area prior to the incident, or between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. or after the incident occurred and saw anything suspicious or may have surveillance video of the area around Chadwick Drive is asked to call 843-743-7200 and ask for the on-duty CPD detective.
They may also call Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.