Crime - Sacto 911

Was suspect identified in 1982 attack on 10-year-old Orangevale girl en route to school?

Q: I was wondering about an abduction or assault that took place in 1982 or 1983. I was in fifth grade at Coleman Elementary School and I have distant memories of a classmate that was missing for awhile. She did not show up for class, and I remember many deputies around the school. She did eventually return to school. I am just trying to find news articles on what happened if they caught someone.

Scott, NC

A: Ten-year-old Rebecca Cimaszewski, a fifth grader at Thomas Coleman Elementary School in Orangevale, was attacked and severely beaten as she rode her bike to school in October 1982.

The mother of a friend Cimaszewski usually rode with to school called the school after Rebecca failed to show up that morning and it was discovered that she was not there. A sheriff’s deputy searching a field near Kenneth Avenue and Greenback Lane found her about 11:45 a.m. She had been beaten in the head and was unconscious, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.

About an hour after Cimaszewski was found, deputies located two transients who a witness reported seeing in the area where the girl was found. They were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon, but they were later released after it was determined they were not involved in the attack.

Cimaszewski was in a coma four days before regaining consciousness. She was then able to recount the attack by what detectives described as a boy 14 to 17 years old, 5 feet, 8 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches tall, with a medium build and blondish brown hair.

Cimaszewski told investigators that the suspect met her on a path in the Arcade Creek area and asked her to help him because his sister was sick. Cimaszewski followed him to a secluded area that was covered in berry vines and the suspect hit her on the head with a 2-by-4 board.

Cimaszewski worked with an artist to develop a composite sketch of the suspect. Detectives spent weeks showing the drawing to residents in the neighborhood, and to students and teachers at area schools. Because the attack occurred about 8 a.m., investigators said they believed the suspect either lived in the area or was staying with friends or relatives there at the time. They were unable, however, to find anyone who recognized him.

Cimaszewski reportedly made a full recovery from her injuries.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy