Sketch: Smoky Mtn Suspect, Asheville Citizen Times
Gatlinburg, TN-- A woman is recovering from a brutal attack that happened while she was hiking last Friday.
Investigators are now looking for her attacker who allegedly sexually assaulted and repeatedly stabbed a woman on a hiking trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person you see in the sketch.
Special agents continue to investigate the case and worked with the victim and a forensic artist to create a suspect sketch, which was released Monday.
"We stand committed to bringing this assailant to justice," Chief Ranger Clay Jordan said. "Working together with assistance of the public, I am optimistic that we can solve this case."
The 44-year-old victim was walking on Gatlinburg Trail connecting the Sugarlands Visitors Center with the city when she was attacked about 2:45 p.m. Friday. She suffered multiple stab wounds to the neck, shoulder and hand.
She made her way to the Gatlinburg Bypass, where she flagged down a passing motorist for assistance.
She was treated at University of Tennessee Medical Center and released from the hospital Sunday night.
Ranger patrols have been stepped up in the area, although Jordan said this still appears to be an isolated incident.
The suspect is described as a white male of thin build and in his 40s. He is about 5 feet 9 inches tall with dirty blond hair, a crew cut and thin mustache.
He was wearing black dress pants and a gray T-shirt at the time of the attack.
The suspect has multiple tattoos, including on his shoulders, and an unknown word across his abdomen.
Authorities have established a special tip line to provide any information about the case.
Anyone who has seen this suspect or has information about the incident is urged to call 865-436-1580.