At 4 a.m. on August 11, a 23-year-old woman was approached by a stranger and raped near the K-State campus, WIBW has reported. The Riley County Police Department, together with the K-State Police Department, issued a warning “encouraging those walking at night to walk in pairs or small groups,” according to WIBW.
According to an Aug. 19 article in the Topeka Capital-Journal, police identified 26-year-old Alexander Shelton, of northeastern Kansas, as a suspect in “the perpetration of a rape.” On the weekend of the 19, police located Shelton outside of Riley County, but the suspect was “unable to be arrested for these crimes as he was found to be deceased prior to police arrival,” police said. The RCPD said it does not anticipate the release of any further details.
In the early morning hours of Aug. 18, a different Manhattan woman was attacked by a stranger while jogging alone. Police say the woman was battered and injured, but was able to escape from her attacker. In an Aug. 19 press release, the RCPD said it is “confident that this incident is not related to the sexual assault that was reported to have happened last week in Manhattan, but urges members of the community to continue to take steps that will help protect themselves from becoming a victim.”
The attacks have prompted some K-State students to express concerns about the amount of lighting provided on the university’s campus.
“As a fairly small girl, I don’t feel comfortable walking alone on campus,” Lauren Komer, sophomore in biology, said. “I appreciate that they have the Wildcat Walk, but most of the time I try to find another person I know to walk with, preferably male.”
Komer also added that, “adding in more lights would be a step in the right direction and would help make the campus safer.”