A 15-year-old girl was attacked and stabbed at her home in Vista by a burglar who, just an hour before the attack, walked through her backyard to ask for directions, investigators confirmed.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO) released details of the violent home burglary for the first time Thursday. According to investigators, the suspect remains at large.
Deputies said that just before 10 a.m. Monday, an unknown man entered a home without permission near the intersection of E. East Drive and N. Santa Fe Avenue.
Inside was a 15-year-old girl and her brother. The man stabbed the teenager in the hand with some sort of gardening tool, possibly a machete of sorts, and fled the scene.
The attack happened in the garage, investigators said, and the teen's brother heard her screams for help. He then saw his sister bleeding from the wound to her hand.
Just an hour before the assault, deputies said the suspect entered the girl’s home through the backyard and asked for directions to a local business. The man got directions and left, but returned a short time later and attacked the girl.
The teenage victim was rushed to a local hospital with non-life threatening wounds and will recover, officials said. Her brother was not harmed in the incident.
At this point, investigators believe the attack was random, and that the suspect and victim do not know one another. The motive for the stabbing remains unknown.
Three days later, deputies are still searching for the stabbing and burglary suspect, the SDSO said. The man is described as a 16 to 18-year-old Hispanic man standing between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-10, weighing between 160 to 200 pounds.
He wore a grey or black hooded sweatshirt, jeans and possibly a black hat with the San Diego Padres logo on it during the attack. He was last seen fleeing the area on a small, green bicycle.
SDSO Sgt. Jason Scroggins told NBC 7 the attack on the girl was "brazen."
"It's pretty scary at that time of the day, nine or 10 in the morning, families are out, kids are walking to school, to and from, that somebody would come into a residence and attack another female juvenile for no apparent reason is pretty brazen," Scroggins said.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can call the SDSO at (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers’ anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477. Tipsters may be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case.