BUFORD - Investigators are searching for a man they believe abducted a Lawrenceville teenager from outside the Mall of Georgia on Tuesday.
The 16-year-old victim was physically and sexually assaulted after a man blocked her path with his car and drew a gun on her in the parking lot near Barnes & Noble about 2:15 p.m., Gwinnett County police Cpl. Darren Moloney said.
"The victim had parked her car and was walking through the parking lot toward the mall when a vehicle approached her," Moloney said. "The offender threatened the victim to lie down and be still. He then blindfolded her and left the mall."
Investigators with the Special Victims Unit believe the suspect took the victim to a house where the assaults occurred. About two hours after the abduction began, the man released the still-blindfolded victim at a store off Buford Drive near the mall.
Moloney said the victim was recently discharged from a metro Atlanta hospital.
"She has been horribly victimized," Moloney said. "She's dealing not so much with physical problems but emotional (ones), understandably."
While the victim did not know the man, Moloney said the man made statements to the girl that led the investigators to believe he may have been stalking her.
"This is a unique situation," Moloney said. "We've never seen anything like this."
Moloney said investigators are looking through surveillance tapes provided by mall security, but they already have a description of the suspect.
The suspect is described as a black man in his mid-20s, about 6 feet tall and 175 pounds. He was wearing a white T-shirt with black jeans, a black belt and black Nike basketball shoes.
The suspect also had a short Afro, a short beard described as a five o'clock shadow and a gold front tooth with a dollar sign on it.
"It is possible that this is not a permanent tooth," Moloney said. "Investigators believe this could be a 'slip-on' or some sort of fake crown."
The suspect's car is described as a late model black, four-door vehicle, possibly an import. The vehicle had tan carpets with light beige leather interior.
Moloney said the suspect's roommate may have arrived at the house during the assault but may not have known it was taking place.
Mall officials were not available for comment late Wednesday.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department at 770-513-5300 and ask to speak with an investigator in Special Victims.