Major Crimes detective seeks help with rape case

Major Case Detective Rosa DiGiovanni is asking for the public’s help solving a brutal rape case which took place in Marathon in December.

The victim, a Marathon woman in her 50s, was at Fishermen’s Hospital the afternoon of December 21st when she first met with deputies and detectives. She’d been beaten and had facial injuries as well as extensive bruising on her body. She told them she’d been raped by a man she met through a dating web site.

The victim said she met the suspect over the internet on the web site POF (Plenty of Fish). She said they communicated on line for a couple of weeks, and then he gave her his cell phone number. She said he told her his name was “John Strong”. She said they texted back and forth for a while, then decided to meet on December 20. She agreed to go with him, in his truck, to Sombrero Beach. He picked her up at her house in Marathon and they went for a walk on the beach. She said at one point, he got her a bottle of water from his truck. She said she noticed the seal had been broken on the water, but she drank it anyway. After drinking the water, she began to feel dizzy so she asked him to drive her home.

She said they left the beach and went to a wooded area. She said he threw her in the back seat and began punching her. He took off her clothes and raped her in the truck. He then drove toward her house, but stopped before he got there and pushed her out of the truck. She said she ran home and, the next day, her roommate took her to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.

The victim described her attacker as a white male with very pale skin and reddish hair. He is approximately 52 years old, has no facial hair and is very overweight – approximately 300 pounds. He is between 6’ and 6’2” tall and listens to country music. He drives a crew cab truck with a light gray interior. The license plate in the back has black plastic trim around it.

Anyone with information about this case should contact Major Crimes Detective Rosa Digiovanni at 305-289-2410. Callers who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys. If a tip leads to an arrest, the caller would be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.00. The Crime Stoppers hot line number is 1-800-346-TIPS. Tips may also be submitted on line at www.tipsubmit.com.

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