Woman, 78, raped; unidentified man sought

GULFPORT -- Police want help to identify a man who raped a 78-year-old woman late Sunday night.

The woman, who lives in the 800 block of 25th Street, called police about 11:59 p.m. and said she'd gone outside her home to check on suspicious noises, police Sgt. Damon McDaniel said.

The woman reported a man forced her inside her home, raped her and left.

Police have only a sketchy description of the man. He's believed to be in his 40s to 50s and has a heavy build.

"We're talking to a lot of people, looking for anyone who may have seen anything," McDaniel said.

If neighbors didn't notice anything, it's possible a passing motorist did.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Gulfport Police Department at 868-5959. Or tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898, text CSTIP plus a message to 274637 (CRIMES) or give a tip online at Crime Stoppers offers rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Tipsters can remain anonymous, even if they qualify for a reward.