Police release sketch of suspect in rower assault - FOX 32 News Chicago

Police release sketch of suspect in rower assault

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

The Michigan State Police have released a sketch of the man accused of raping a Chicago woman rowing around Lake Michigan.

Investigators describe him as a white man in his 30's, between 5'8" and 6', with facial stubble but no beard or mustache.

Police believe he tracked Jenn Gibbons, 27, on her blog, and traveled a long way to assault her near Manistique in the Upper Peninsula around 4 a.m. on Sunday.

They're also looking for information about a yellow Jeep Wrangler with a smiley-face on the back that was seen at the scene.

Gibbons spoke with FOX Chicago News over the phone Wednesday.

"Ever since it happened, I've been going through a lot of different things," Gibbons told FOX Chicago News. "I need to allow myself time to heal.

Gibbons is co-founder of Recovery on Water, a Chicago rowing organization for breast cancer survivors. It's based on the idea that exercise can help prevent recurrence -- an opinion backed by the American Cancer Society in guidelines for doctors issued last April.
 
A native of Battle Creek, Gibbons was a member of Michigan State University's crew team, where she volunteered with a small group of breast cancer survivors. After moving to Chicago and coaching students, she formed the survivors' group in 2008. Several dozen women take part.
 
"It's a nontraditional support group," Marybeth Pierce, 65, told the Associated Press. "We're not sitting around talking about the disease. We're active, we're moving."
 
Gibbons said she knew of no one who had circled all of Lake Michigan in a rowboat. She decided to attempt the feat, hoping to raise $150,000 to buy six new boats for the team. About $80,000 has been donated.
 
Her vessel, Liv, is a 19-foot custom craft designed for ocean crossings. The boat's sealed cabin provides space for sleeping and shelter during storms. It's equipped with solar panels, a satellite phone and other high-tech equipment.

She said she is working with police.

"I want this person found and I would like to be able to continue the trip," she said.

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