Woman sexually assaulted in Oak Creek Canyon

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

SEDONA, Ariz. -- A 52-year-old Tucson woman was sexually assaulted while sightseeing in Oak Creek Canyon Wednesday morning, according to the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office received a call from an emergency room in Sedona at about 11:20 a.m. reporting the assault. Deputies responded and conducted an initial interview with the victim.

The victim told deputies that she was vacationing in Flagstaff and was driving through Sedona on her return trip to Tucson, according to CCSO spokesman Gerry Blair. She stopped on the side of South 89A near the Call of the Canyon day-use area to look at the creek.

The woman said she was standing outside of her vehicle when she was approached from behind and physically assaulted. During the attack, the victim was sexually assaulted.

Blair said the suspect left on foot, possibly in a southerly direction.

Detectives are investigating the possibility that the suspect was armed at the time of the assault.

The suspect is described as a white male, in his mid- to late 40s, with medium-length dark hair, a scraggly dark-colored beard and a mustache. He was last seen wearing brown pants with side pockets, a dark-colored sweatshirt and cowboy boots.

Anyone with information regarding this crime or the possible identity of the suspect is urged to call the Coconino County Sheriff's Office at 928-774-4523 or toll free at 1-800-338-7888. Callers can also contact Silent Witness at 928-774-6111.