BYRNES MILL, Mo. (KMOV) -- Police say they interrupted a man sexually assaulting an elderly woman with dementia.
The alleged attack happened at the victim's home in Byrnes Mill. Police say the man drove the woman to her house after finding her stopped on the side of the road near Gravois Bluffs in Fenton.
Police say the victim is in her late 70s and also suffers from mental illness. She'd taken a large sum of cash from her bank account to go grocery shopping, but police say she got confused.
A man allegedly offered her a ride and even helped her to get groceries before police say he drove the victim home, sexually assaulted her and robbed her.
By this point, police had already been looking for the woman for more than five hours on Wednesday night. Although she wasn't gone long enough to issue an official alert, police say they were worried because they know her medical history. An officer drove to the victim's home, noticed a strange car in her driveway and reported hearing the victim screaming for help.
"She has no close neighbors within hearing distance, so anything could have happened and no one would have heard that noise, because no one but the officer could have heard her screaming," Byrnes Mill Police Chief Ed Locke said. "A sick indivual would take advantage, number one, of an elderly person and take advantage of somebody you know is not mentlaly stable."
Police found a small amount of groceries in the suspect's car. Police located the victim's car along Highway 30 at Route 141 by tracing the grocery receipt to the Gravois Bluffs area.
The 52-year-old suspect is in custody at the Jefferson County jail in Hillsboro. Police expect he'll be charged for the crimes first thing Friday morning.