BOONE COUNTY, Ind. -- A masked man attacked and sexually assaulted a caregiver in Boone County last Friday and police say it happened in front of the 76-year-old woman she was caring for.
Deputies were called to a home on U.S. 421 just before 7 p.m. after another caregiver found the two women inside of a barn on the property. The second caregiver initially thought that the two women were dead.
The victim, a 41-year-old woman, was found naked and unconscious inside the barn. Detectives say she was strangled with a rope and beat over the head before she was sexually assaulted.
Boone County Sheriff Mike Nielsen said in a news conference on Monday that the 76-year-old homeowner, Helen Fix, was also taken to the hospital but was not injured during the attack. She was released from the hospital Friday evening.
The victim told police that she was taking Fix on her daily walk around the property when they were approached by a masked man with a gun near the barn. The man assaulted her outside the barn and then took her inside the barn where he sexually assaulted her.
Sheriff Nielsen said Fix’s medical condition requires her to have 24-hour care and makes her unable to communicate what she saw to law enforcement.
Police do not believe this was a random act because they believe the person who assaulted the caretaker knew that Fix could not tell police what she saw.
"There's a whole lot more to this, and we're trying to take our time and make sure we don't leave any stone unturned," said Zionsville Police Captain Mike Beard.
Captain Beard said investigators have interviewed multiple people but have not made any arrests in the case.
Anyone who knows anything about the assault or who may have seen anything suspicious Friday evening is asked to contact the Boone County Sheriff’s Office at (765) 482-1412.
“Continue to be aware of your surroundings,” said Captain Beard. “We’re doing everything we can to get you answers to say that we don’t have someone just walking up and down the road and doing this.”
You can watch the full Monday afternoon news conference below.