North Myrtle Beach visitors on alert as police search for sexual assault suspect

Police seek NMB sexual assault suspect

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Some visitors along the Grand Strand said they’re paying close attention to their loved ones on the beach after police said a man sexually assaulted a young female this week.

The victim, described as a young female, said the man spoke with a southern accent. She also said he was skinny, tan and had dirty blonde hair.

WMBF News went to 4th Avenue North on Friday where she said it happened, and spoke with a mother from West Virginia, who said she and her husband have a way to make sure their daughters are always in sight.

“We keep them close, dress them alike in bright colors so we can keep a better eye of them, not let them get too far away,” said Miranda Cale.

One of Cale’s daughters is 13 and said knowing the victim is a young female is unsettling.

"Knowing that I’m 13 and there is a man like that out in the water with me, it’s pretty disturbing to think about,” said Lillian Cale.

The victim said she was approached by a man while in the water along the coastline who looked like this sketch.

North Myrtle Beach police are trying to identify this suspect in a criminal sexual conduct case.
North Myrtle Beach police are trying to identify this suspect in a criminal sexual conduct case. (Source: City of North Myrtle Beach)

The victim said after they struck up a conversation, he assaulted her in the water.

Mackenzie Smoak, 19, said knowing this happened in the water is uncomfortable. She said though it may seem childish at her age, she always wants to have someone with her, even just walking on the beach.

“It’s scary, especially for a lot of little girls that are here with their parents or even girls my age," Smoak said. "I mean, you don’t know where he is, you don’t know except by that sketch if you’re gonna be that next person or not.”

North Myrtle Beach officials said the man is possibly in his 30s and staying in the area of 4th Avenue North.

Patrick Martin said it’s troubling to know this man is still wanted and females of all ages may not feel safe or comfortable while vacationing.

“There are a lot of disrespectful people around so just keeping an eye out for people that just seem like they are up to no good," said tourist Patrick Martin.

While police continue their investigation, they ask anyone who might know something to call North Myrtle Beach Det. Joe Keister at (843) 280-5511.

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