Two Suspects in Custody After Elderly Woman Raped, Left at Detroit Church

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Two suspects were taken into custody after a 63-year-old woman was allegedly raped and abandoned outside a church in Detroit, Fox 2 reported Monday.

Detroit Police Chief James White said Elvin Shepard, 44, was charged with assault with intent to murder in connection with the attack that happened on November 14.

“We’ve got enough evidence and some facts and circumstances that I will not go into right now, but she was not randomly targeted, there was conversation prior to the incident and both were present during the entire incident,” White explained.

White announced details of the case during a press conference on Monday:

WATCH LIVE: Chief James E. White announces an arrest in the brutal attack and rape of a 63-year-old woman on the city's west side.

Posted by Detroit Police Department on Monday, November 29, 2021

A second man faces charges that were not related to the recent attack, but White said the man was with Shepard during the alleged sexual assault and he felt confident he was related to the incident.

The victim, whose name is Shirley Bryant, was discovered when a person walking nearby heard her crying out for help on Joy Road near Mackinaw Street.

The individual searched near the vacant church and eventually found the woman, the Fox report continued, adding, “She was partially naked and suffered hypothermia and brain trauma.”

According to Bryant’s family members, she was visiting her son for her birthday when the incident took place, and the Fox article said she was sexually assaulted and beaten.

Family members previously said she knew the neighborhood because she grew up in the area.

Bryant’s son told the outlet his mother is now in hospice care.

Meanwhile, White noted that Bryant and her alleged attackers knew each other. Authorities are crediting the arrests to community members who worked to find answers regarding the case.

“This is a vulnerable senior citizen in our community,” White explained. “And we have two people who made a horrible choice to victimize a senior – who is now fighting for her life. This did not have to happen and it shouldn’t have happened.”

Shepard was issued a $250,000 cash bond and is scheduled to be back in court on Monday for a probable cause conference.


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