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December 8, 2021

Idaho sheriff’s office investigates after Utah woman reports being attacked while hiking

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who a 35-year-old Utah woman said assaulted her while hiking near the Willow Flat Campground in southeastern Idaho on Monday. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

PRESTON, Idaho — Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a man who a 35-year-old Utah woman said assaulted her while hiking in the Willow Flat area on Monday.

The sheriff’s office responded to a walk-in report of a suspicious incident that occurred on the hiking trail near the Willow Fast Campground at about 3:30 p.m. Officers spoke with a 35-year-old woman from Utah who said that she had been assaulted on the way back to her vehicle, the sheriff’s office said in statement posted to Facebook on Wednesday.

The woman said that she had gone up to Willow Flat to hike around and go for a walk. She parked her vehicle below the campground and found an ATV trail just west of the south campground parking lot, the statement says. The woman followed the trail west, crossed over a bridge and went up the trail to the overlook.

While hiking back to her vehicle, the woman said she was grabbed from behind by a man and taken to the ground, according to the statement. The woman told officers that she struggled with her attacker for about a minute before she broke free and ran toward her vehicle.

The woman described the man to officers as being approximately 6 feet tall with an average build. She said he had long, light-brown hair that was over his ears but not yet to his shoulder, according to the statement. He had facial hair but not a full beard and was wearing a black shirt without sleeves, the woman said. She also told police the man was wearing denim jeans and had a strong odor of alcohol on him.

The woman only remembers seeing one other person in the area while she was hiking, the statement says: a fisherman in the river. A vehicle in the parking lot of the campground included a fire engine-red pickup truck with a fishing pontoon boat in the back and possibly some kayaks or canoes, the statement says. The woman told officials she was unsure if the vehicle could have belonged to her attacker.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is still attempting to locate the suspect. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office at 208-852-1234 ext. 2.

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