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September 11, 2006

It’s a horrific crime that stunned the residents of Carefree. “Great horror, shock and tremendous sadness for this community,” says resident Virginia Brooks Dingman. “People are frightened.”

“On September 4th of 2006, which was Labor Day, between 6 and 8 a.m., an 85-year-old woman was walking in the area of Tranquil Trail and Cave Creek Road in Carefree,” says Phoenix police Sgt. Paul Penzone.

The woman walked daily as does her neighbor, Dingman. “Most of the people in this little neighborhood that I live in know this woman, appreciated her daily smiles and patting all the dogs.”

“On this morning, she was attacked by a man who beat her so brutally that she was hospitalized with life-threatening injuries,” says Penzone.

After beating her, the attacker dumped her unconscious body into a ravine. She was later found by another walker.

The suspect is described as 6-foot-1, 150 pounds with a dark complexion.

Since the attack, Dingman and other nearby residents have formed a citizen’s action group – the Carefree Concerned Citizens Council.

It’s already raised another $4,000 in reward money, bringing the total Silent Witness reward to $5,000 in this case.

“Investigators with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office are hoping that someone may have seen something out of the ordinary that day or someone in the neighborhood that just didn’t belong,” says Penzone. And they’re hoping that person will call Silent Witness.