Police, church members share info on Denison sexual assault investigation

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DENISON, Texas (KXII) -- It's been a week since a Denison woman said she was kidnapped, raped by three men and then ran to a local church for safety.

Wednesday, members of the church she ran to for help describe how they found her and the Denison police chief released a statement about the investigation.

"She was just in her t-shirt, with scratches on her, she was trembling she was so afraid," Ana Bermudez said.

That's what New Creation Church member Ana Bermudez said she saw last Wednesday night during their worship service. An 18-year-old woman ran into their church through a side door, a door that is usually locked.

"Her vision was just straight to the wall, she was crying and scared, thank God that it was unlocked," Bermudez said, who is also a local nurse.

Bermudez immediately called police and learned they'd been searching for her for nearly four hours.

"Our desire was to protect her," New Creation Church Pastor Dora Marquez said.

Police said all the woman could remember was that she was taken from outside her apartment at Creekmore Apartments early Wednesday evening, driven down a bumpy road, raped and told to run.

Where she ran from is unclear, but the women said they are thankful they were who she ran to.

"We give thanks to God for being in the right place in the right time to give her help," Marquez said.

Comments on social media prompted Denison Police Chief Jay Burch to address the current investigation, saying for example: "One person posted that random women were often being abducted and sexually assaulted by a person or persons in Denison. This is simply not true. It has been over 5 years or more since such a similar type case was reported in Denison."

The chief said the detectives have found DNA evidence they hope will identify the suspect or suspects. The results can take months, but the church members said in the mean time, they will continue to pray.

"I'm just grateful that she got her help that she needed, we prayed with her and we're still praying for her recovery," Bermudez said.

The woman was taken to TMC for an exam and treatment last week.
State and federal agencies have been called in to help with the investigation. To read chief Burch's full statement, click on the related link.