ZAINESVILLE, Ohio - A 29-year-old Canton woman was found naked, badly burned and with a rope around her neck Sunday morning in Muskingum County according to police. The woman was also raped.
Muskingum County Sheriff Matthew Lutz said the woman was located by a motorist at the intersection of state Route 208 and Steel Hill Road around 8:30 a.m.
Sheriff deputies located a crime scene near the intersection in a wooded area. With the assistance of the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, authorities processed the scene and collected information.
A vehicle of interest, a blue pick up truck, was located on Dueber Avenue in Canton . It was towed and processed at the Canton Police Department. The truck belongs to the victim's father.
He said he last saw his daughter Friday morning when she pulled out of the driveway with a friend. She told her dad she would be back in a few minutes. The minutes turned into days, and her father and his friend spent the last three days looking for her.
"It's rough, it's rough I don't know what to do," said the victim's father. NewsChannel5 is not identifying the man because his daughter is a rape victim.
"This was one of the most gruesome things I've seen in 23 years in law enforcement," said Muskingum County Sheriff Matthew Lutz.
The woman was flown to Ohio State Hospital, where she is listed in critical condition with fourth degree burns to most of her body.
There are "people of interest" that investigators want to speak with, who may have information related to the case. Deputies are currently searching for those people.
The Muskingum County Sheriff's Department is working with the Stark County Sheriff's Department and Canton Police.
Sheriff Lutz said "this was not a random act."
Anyone with information should contact the Muskingum County Sheriff's Department at 740-452-3637 and dial extension 148.
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