MAHONING VALLEY MYSTERIES: Canfield police probe 2000 assault, rape case

Part of a continuing series

CANFIELD — Police detectives continue to investigate a case from 2000 when a woman was raped and beaten as she started her work day.

On Nov. 27, 2000, a 29-year-old woman employee at SSB Accounting, 196 N. Broad St., had come to work early. She arrived at 6:20 a.m. and was attacked as she walked from her vehicle to the back entrance of the business.

“The attacker was a white male wearing dark clothes and a ski mask,” said Detective Josh Wells. “He attacked her by beating her with a small wooden baseball bat.”

The attacker raped the victim before fleeing the scene.

The bat was one piece of evidence the department has. It was one of roughly 1,000 Mahoning Valley Scrappers souvenir baseball bats handed out at the July 8 game.

The victim survived the ordeal and supports police efforts to continue investigating the case.

“We reevaluate the case every time we get a new detective in our department,” Wells said. “It’s a fresh new set of eyes on the case.”

In 2000, DNA testing was available and done on the evidence. Wells said it was retested years later as DNA test abilities improved, and the evidence is still stored as new detectives look at it.

The last time the case was reopened was in 2015, Wells said. Brian McGivern was promoted to detective, and he began reworking the case with John Martin from the Violent Crimes Task Force and with the FBI.

Through McGivern’s efforts with Martin and the FBI, a person of interest has been identified.

“We believe it is him, but we don’t (at this time) have enough evidence to charge him,” Wells said.

He added, “Over the years we have received tips and leads that sometimes didn’t make sense, but we always followed up.”

Have an interesting story? Email J.T. Whitehouse at jtwhitehouse@vindy.com.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $2.99/week.

Subscribe Today