Police continue search for rest-stop assailant

Has there been a follow-up on the man who was stabbed about a month ago at the rest area on Interstate 5 near Talent? Was the attacker ever caught, and if so, who did it? I still lock my doors.

— John N., by e-mail

Investigators still haven't apprehended the man who stabbed 60-year-old Donald Ahrens and they are eager for any help the public might be able to provide.

Past media reports prompted some tips that police followed up on, but none of the information led to the identity of the assailant, said Oregon State Police Detective Bryan Scott.

Scott said he has two persons of interest — one he's trying to schedule an interview with and another he's trying to locate to interview.

Police have the victim's statement and a statement of one witness to help them in their investigation.

The description of the suspect remains the same: a dark-skinned male in his late 20s or early 30s, medium-build, short dark hair, possible facial hair, wearing a military-style jacket. He fled the scene on a mountain bicycle or BMX-style bike, riding northbound on the southbound side of the freeway.

Scott said the description leads police to believe the attacker lives in this area, and possibly could be a transient. Police have been in close contact with members of the homeless community in hopes they might hear some information that will move the investigation forward.

The assault occurred at about 8 p.m. March 6 in the restroom at the Suncrest Rest Area on the southbound side of Interstate 5, just south of Talent. The victim described the attack as unprovoked and said that he and the attacker did not speak to each other, Scott said.

The victim, who was visiting his brother in Talent at the time of the assault, has recovered from his wounds and is back home in Arizona. He spent two weeks undergoing two surgeries and recovering at the Rogue Valley Medical Center.

Scott asked anyone who knows someone fitting the suspect's description to contact him at 541-776-6114, ext. 253.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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