He knocked on her door during the height of Saturday's snowstorm, appearing as a good neighbor with an offer to shovel snow in front of a Canton woman's home in exchange for a few bucks.
But according to police, the man, a suspect in two rapes in Virginia, returned a short time later, sexually assaulting her at knifepoint before slashing her throat.
The woman survived, and police have charged a 19-year-old man from rural Virginia in connection with the crime, which took place about noon in the 800 block of S. Kenwood Ave.
A Virginia newspaper reported Monday night that the suspect, Donald Vaughan of White Stone, Va., had been under surveillance by local authorities there for two other rapes. According to The Rappahannock Record, Vaughan is a "prime suspect" in sex assaults that occurred Nov. 28 and Dec. 1, and was under police surveillance there for the past two weeks while they awaited the processing of forensic evidence.
The newspaper reported that Vaughan's parole agent allowed him to go to Baltimore to visit family for the holiday.
Lt. Tim Self of the Lancaster Sheriff's Office, said he had sent three officers to Maryland to interview Vaughan and said police there are still awaiting lab results.
In the Baltimore incident, the man had been paid for shoveling and had left. Later, the 26-year-old victim was inside the kitchen when she heard a knock on a side door. This time, the man forced his way inside and grabbed a kitchen knife, then sexually assaulted her in the kitchen and in an upstairs bedroom, records show.
During the assault, he cut her throat with the knife, causing a 5-inch gash that nipped her jugular, according to documents. As she was bleeding, the man stole cash, a bank card and two cell phones.
According to charging documents, the victim got on her computer, where she had been talking with a friend, and the friend called 911. When police arrived, the woman was leaning out her second-floor window with a towel around her neck, trying to control the bleeding. She was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital for surgery, and has been released.
Police tracked the stolen cell phone to an address in the 800 block of N. Linwood Ave., where they found Vaughan.
According to police, he detailed the sexual assault for detectives and was charged with first-degree rape, attempted first-degree murder and related charges.
Darryl Jurkiewicz, president of the Canton Community Association, questioned why police didn't disseminate information about the incident and a suspect description sooner. "People tend to notice people they don't recognize," he said. "It just seems like a breakdown in communication."