Abandoned home where girl was raped now boarded up

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The abandoned home in Orange Mound where a child was kidnapped and raped is now boarded up, and a manhunt is still underway for the rapist.

Several neighbors said they've complained about the home they called an eyesore, which is now at the center of a sex crime investigation.

WMC5 investigators found very little documented issues related to the property. In the past three years, there have been no calls for police or fire to the home.

About 72 hours after Memphis Police Department opened its kidnapping and rape case, the home was boarded up and secured.

Before the home was boarded up, glass from broken windows covered the floors. The slightest breeze blew the front door open.

Investigators said a girl walking home from school was kidnapped and brought to the dilapidated home, where she was sexually assaulted.

Neighbors said Wednesday they've complained to the city about the blighted home multiple times.

"Hopefully they go ahead and knock this house down," said Georgia Winston, who lives next door. "Because it's been gotten (sic) approved to be demolished last year."

City of Memphis Public Works Director Robert Knecht pushed back against neighbors who said the home had been reported multiple times. He said the city knew nothing about any problems at the home before the crime that happened there this week.

There was only one prior complaint filed on the home in 2016.

"We haven't had anything since then," Knecht said.

His department is now reviewing that 2016 complaint to see what the inspector did to manage the property.

Knecht issued an emergency board and secure order Wednesday afternoon, deeming the property a public health and safety issue.

"We need citizens to help keep us in the know about these properties," Knecht said. "If there is an open property, if we did board and secure the property and it's been reopened to entry please contact 311 and notify us."

The city said the owner of this home has 14 days to the violations.

No response will result in another violation and the owner will have to go to environmental court.

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