LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - LMPD has confirmed that a 25-year-old woman was kidnapped at gunpoint and sexually assaulted early Sunday morning.
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Police said the incident started near the intersection of Bardstown Road and Baxter Avenue.
LMPD spokesperson Dwight Mitchell could not verify if the victim knew the suspect, but said that police have not made an arrest at this point.
Police said the woman was getting out of her car in a parking lot when a man approached her and forced her back into her car.
The woman told police that the man repeatedly punched the victim while driving away from the Highlands.
The victim escaped the car on Mellwood Avenue, LMPD said. The suspect followed the victim and sexually assaulted her in a wooded area. Police said the woman escaped again and ran to a gas station on Zorn Avenue where she called for help.
Kira Steinke is a student at Bellarmine University and said she did not know the reason for a stronger police presence.
"I have definitely notice a lot more police around," Steinke said. "I saw maybe four or five in the past couple hours."
Many others in the neighborhood were concerned about not hearing of the incident sooner. Reports surfaced on social media over the weekend, but LMPD could not confirm it to WAVE 3 News until Friday.
Police said they found the victim's car, keys and shoes on Mellwood Avenue. Detectives are investigating and at this point cannot say if the victim and the suspect knew each other.
The victim survived the ordeal and was treated at University Hospital.