DETROIT (WJBK) - Before sunrise on Tuesday, Detroit police combed a dark, deserted service station on the east side.
It became a crime scene after a reported sex assault with a rapist still on the loose. In the light of day, any sign of a crime scene is gone.
The suspect is a heavy set black teenager about 5 feet, 6 inches armed with an older model handgun and riding a red mountain bike.
It all happened around 2 a.m. the victim says she was on her phone right at this intersection at Seven Mile and Syracuse when she was approached by the suspect.
He asked for money, she said no and tried to get away. He grabbed her, taking her into an abandoned service station where he committed the crime.
The victim was taken to the hospital after the attack. We are told by family she is doing okay given all she’s gone through.
The blighted property blends back into the surroundings as vacant homes on Syracuse near Seven Mile outnumber the occupied.
“From the end of the block to Outer Drive down here. 57 houses are empty," Charles Dennis said “I count them every time I pass."
For the few like Dennis, who have lived here for 20 years, there is still pride in the neighborhood. He said it is mostly quiet and peaceful.
But Detroit police say it was in one of those 57 or so vacant properties where the rape of a young woman took place.
At first glance the service station looks fenced in, but there are plenty of holes which only lead to more secluded locations. Just one reason Charles keeps family close.
“I got a young daughter and a granddaughter here," he said.
FOX 2: "Are you concerned for them?"
"Yeah, I don’t let them go anywhere," he said. "If they go, they go with me.”
And now he says, he’ll start looking out for other people’s family as well.
“If I see someone in the street try and do that to another little girl I would try and stop it," he said. "It’s all I can do.”