A former student was found raped and physically assaulted on Wednesday, June 9th around 5:40 p.m., in Provo.
The young woman, who had recently begun attending a different institution, was walking to school on the Provo River trail directly behind the Branbury apartments. According to Officer Argyle, of the Provo Police Department, she left her apartment at around 3 pm, which means she laid out there nearly three hours before someone saw her. She did manage to crawl from the wooded area, where the attacker left her, to the sidewalk where two Brandbury residents saw her and called the police.
Paramedics and the police were dispatched immediately. When the police arrived on the scene, the young woman was in very bad condition, according to Provo police. They found her with broken facial bones, a severe head injury and several missing teeth.
Despite her condition, she was able to talk to the police. This is when Officer Argyle found out that she had not only been physically assaulted but sexually as well. She was then rushed to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
“The attacker obviously thought she was dead or about to die because he left her lying there and ran away,” said officer Argyle.
The victim also told the police that she did not know the attacker; however, she was able to give a very good description of him. The suspect is a white male in his mid to late 20s with tattoos on his neck and arms wearing a baseball cap.
Officer Argyle said that even though they haven’t arrested anyone for this crime, they have one suspect in custody who was arrested in Mona, Utah on Friday at 4 a.m., and charged with the robbery assault of the store Trendy Tots in Provo. The individual is a 33 year old caucasian Provo resident, Shawn Leonard, who fits the description the young woman gave the police of her attacker.
“This is not one of those isolated trails where you would think something like this could happen,” said officer Argyle. “However, it happened and we need to be aware that anything can happen anywhere if we are not aware of our surroundings.”
Officer Argyle suggests to everyone to remember, whenever walking, pay attention to where you are and what is going on around you, make eye contact, look confident and look like you know what is going on.
“Sometimes people, especially students are too busy with their iPods and headphones that they hardly know what’s going on around them,” said officer Argyle.