Crime

Police believe woman who reported carjacking knew her attacker

Collinsville police are still investigating a reported carjacking in the Collinsville Crossings area, but say they do not believe it was a random act of violence.

Collinsville police were called to a Moto Mart on Bluff Road on the evening of May 2 on reports that a woman had been physically beaten and her car stolen. Witnesses indicated they saw the woman repeatedly hitting her horn as the man hit and bit her, and she was screaming, according to police.

The man then fled in the car, which was later recovered in East St. Louis. At the time, police said they were “taking into consideration” the possibility that the victim knew her assailant.

Collinsville Police said in a statement Monday that they now believe this is the case. “It became evident during the early stages of this investigation that this was not a random act of violence as originally reported,” they said. “While it is clear the reporting party was the victim of a battery, follow-up interviews and inconsistent statements throughout the investigation have revealed the victim had some type of prior relationship with the suspect.”

Police said they now believe the woman drove her assailant to at least three businesses and had opportunity each time to drive away or summon help.

“While it is clear the reporting party did sustain multiple injuries, it is not clear why, where, or how those injuries took place,” the statement read.

Maj. Brett Boerm said they are not necessarily treating it as a case of domestic violence, because they are not clear about the woman’s relationship with the assailant. They would have to establish that there was a dating relationship for it to be domestic violence, he said.

“Her interviews and statements were so contradictory from one point to the next that we became more confused about where things happened,” Boerm said. “But it became clear to us that she has spent time with him prior to this happening.”

The suspect has not been identified, Boerm said, and police are working to identify him. He was described as a black male age 20-30, approximately 6 feet tall and weighing 160-170 pounds, wearing a dark blue coat or hoodie.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Collinsville Police Department at 344-2131 or Crimestoppers at 866-371-8477.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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