Debby suspect

A composite of Debbie's attacker

Real Name: Unrevealed, "Debbie" is not her real name.
Case: Rape and Attempted Murder
Date: March 22, 1990
Location: Fayetteville, North Carolina




Details: "Debbie" is a Winston-Salem, North Carolina secretary who was raped and assaulted by an unknown attacker for several hours on March 22, 1990. He shot her in the face with a 12-gauge double-barrel shotgun and left her for dead. Two police officers found her walking out from the woods near Business Route 95 in Fayetteville. They immediately contacted paramedics who took her to a nearby hospital. Although her life was saved, she has been disfigured as a result of the attack.
She eventually described to police the events that led up to her being left for dead. On the morning of March 22, she made a large cash withdrawal at the First Union Bank in Winston-Salem. She left the bank at 9:40 am, but as she entered her car, her attacker entered through the passenger door and held a shotgun to her. He told her to drive to a liquor store three miles away. When he went inside, the man took her keys with him. He constantly watched her from the window, and told her that if she tried to escape, he would kill everyone in the store. After buying a bottle of whiskey, he returned to the car and told her to drive on Interstate 40-E and 421-S to Fayetteville.
The drive lasted for over four hours. During this time, he threatened her life, drank heavily, and bragged that he had once killed a man in New York. About three miles north of Fayetteville, the man forced her to pull off the side of the road. He then forced her at gunpoint into the nearby woods. When she tried to escape, the man chased after her and grabbed her. He beat her, raped her, and then shot her in the head.
At the same time, one of officers that later found Debbie saw her car on the side of the road. Before he could investigate, however, a speeding vehicle went by and he went after it. Whenever her attacker was done, he fled in her car, which was later found in Florida.
Fayetteville police officers examined the crime scene. They found the assailant's jacket and gloves, along with other evidence. The police are now searching for the assailant, protecting his victim's identity in the process.
Suspects: Debbie's attacker is described as 5'10" in height and weighing between 150 and 180 pounds. At the time, he was in his mid-thirties and wore his hair close-cropped. He left behind a dark blue pea jacket and brown cloth gloves. It's believed he may work within the petroleum industry, as the smell of petroleum was found on his items.

Debby jacket

The attacker's jacket

Extra Notes: This case first aired on the December 5, 1990 episode. It is not to be confused with the murder of Debbie Wolfe, a slain North Carolina nurse. Debbie's case was also featured on I Survived....
Results: Unsolved. A possible suspect in Debbie's attack is Ernest Ray Cherry, who was convicted of attacking and raping another woman in North Carolina in 1992. He matches the description of Debbie's attacker, and there are several similarities between his known victim's attack and Debbie's. Also, Cherry abducted his victim from the same city that Debbie was abducted from. Cherry is currently serving a life sentence for the rape and attempted murder of the other victim. However, he has never been charged or officially named a suspect in Debbie's case.

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