Two suspects questioned after assault near Mossy Oaks Elementary School playground

emoody@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 22, 2013 

Two suspects have been questioned after a 13-year-old girl reported she was pulled into a wooded area by Mossy Oaks Elementary School and assaulted Monday evening, Beaufort police say.

Chief Matt Clancy said three girls were playing at the playground at about 5 p.m. when two of them ran home to plug in a cellphone to charge. When they returned with an adult, the third girl was missing.

They found her in the woods, Clancy said. The girl told police three unknown men approached her and asked her a question before pushing her into the woods. She said one of the men struck her in the face.

Two males -- ages 13 and 18 -- matching the girl's description of her attackers were spotted nearby. Police questioned them, but no charges have been filed, Clancy said.

A third suspect has not been identified.

The investigation remains active as police sort through "differing versions of what took place," Clancy said. The people involved appear to know each other in some way, he said.

This is the second incident in two weeks in the woods near the playground. On Jan. 15, a group of children reported some men forced them to smoke marijuana. Clancy said it does not appear the incidents are related.

The playground is not typically an area of concern for the police department, Clancy said, as it is usually busy with people and activities occurring either at the elementary school or Beaufort Middle School.

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