20 Aug 2014
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Community Shocked Over Alleged Rape in Neighboring Park

Members of Hadley Farms community expressed disbelief about what police say was a rape Monday afternoon at a neighboring park.

Community Shocked Over Alleged Rape in Neighboring Park

In her 20 years living in Gaithersburg's Hadley Farms community, Ginger Mclelland said she hasn't seen or heard of anything like what police say was a rape Monday afternoon at a conservation park behind the community's pool.

"No, never." Mclelland, 55, told Patch. "I'm shocked."

Montgomery County police say .

The incident is the first in that area in a long time, according to Montgomery County Police spokeswoman Janelle Smith, but the Hadley Park community—which resides near the border of Gaithersburg and Laytonsville—is in disbelief that such a serious crime occurred in their backyard.

Rumiko Lindenmayer said her children play and work in the area near the conservation park, but she will now encourage them to stay away.

"It might happen everywhere nowadays," Lindenmayer, 51, told Patch. "I think this neighborhood is pretty safe, but you never know."

Reina Day said there has always been small crime in the neighborhood, such as petty theft and larceny from vehicles, but nothing of this magnitude.

"It surprises me but it doesn't at the same time," said the 35-year-old mother of two. "I've lived here for eight years and we've always been very watchful.

"I've never heard of anything like [Monday's alleged rape], but we've always told our kids not to go in the woods in the dark. Now we have to be more aware."

Montgomery County Park Police Lt. Lauryn McNeill told Patch she believes it's an isolated incident and said "we're very fortunate to have a generally safe park community."

Conservation parks such as Green Farm—one of 410 total parks in Montgomery County—generally don't have activity areas such as basketball courts and playgrounds so they are much less likely to draw people in, making it even more important for visitors to be aware of their surroundings, McNeill said.

"If you see something suspicious, call someone," McNeill told Patch. "It's terrible when things like this happen."

Related Stories:

—A young woman was allegedly raped at Green Farm Conservation Park, behind the Hadley Farms community pool on Monday afternoon.

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Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Homicide/Sex Section at 240-773-5070.  Those who wish to remain anonymous may contact Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or 240-773-TIPS (8477)  or submit a tip online.

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