The 22-year-old woman, who we are not identifying, was attacked by an intruder in her South Side home around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday. Her 43-year-old mother was also the victim of a sexual assault.
"Yesterday was the worst day, what you think won't happen to you happened to you," she said. "She started screaming my name. I ran back there in her room and he was like on top with a knife up to her."
Despite efforts to fight the man off, he sexually assaulted both mother and daughter using a knife he grabbed from their kitchen. The offender broke into their home by using a garbage can from the alley to climb into a kitchen window.
An hour later, he tried to strike again at a different home but was scared off by a barking dog and a girl screaming. The suspect fled, but then dragged a 14-year-old girl into a yard around 7 a.m. He sexually assaulted her using the same kitchen knife he stole from the first victim's home, police said. By the end of the day, a man was in custody. The 22-year-old victim said she positively identified the man from a lineup.
"The other ones didn't fit the description, but one person," she said.
But police released their person of interest overnight, saying he'd been cleared and was not involved in the attacks. The victims are angry and community activists are worried about retaliation.
"I feel like justice is going to be served one way or another by police or without police," the victim said.
"There is always talk of retaliation, always talk of doing some damage to a person. We don't want that to happen," community activist Andrew Holmes said.