The Asotin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a rape at gunpoint that occurred Wednesday afternoon and is asking the public to help identify the suspect.

According to a news release from Asotin County Detective Jackie Nichols, the rape happened at a pullout along the Snake River Road south of Asotin between Mulberry Beach and Couse Creek Road.

The victim, in her 30s, did not know the suspect. She described him as a white male in his late 50s with shoulder-length, graying brown hair, a lanky build and an estimated height of 6 feet, 2 inches. He was wearing a black Led Zeppelin T-shirt, blue jeans and black cowboy boots with silver tips. He has a blue-green circular tattoo with an anchor on one of his forearms and told the victim his name was Bobby.

According to the news release, the suspect flagged down the victim while she was driving on State Route 129 near Swallows Park at Clarkston and asked her for a ride. He then directed the victim to the area south of Asotin and raped her at gunpoint. He was last seen on foot in the area.

Nichols said stranger rapes are unusual but not unheard of.

“Typically we see sexual assault with someone that is known within the victim’s circle,” she said.

Because of that, the involvement of a firearm and the brazenness of the assault that occurred in daylight along a rural but well-traveled road, Nichols said law enforcement considers there to be a risk to the public and the suspect to be armed and dangerous.

“It was very bold,” she said.

Anybody who sees or knows someone matching the description of the suspect is advised to not approach the man but instead to call Nichols at (509) 243-4717 or police dispatchers at (509) 758-2331. She said a sketch of the suspect is being produced.

Barker may be contacted at ebarker@lmtribune.com or at (208) 848-2273. Follow him on Twitter @ezebarker.

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