21-year-old woman with autism assaulted

7:00 AM, Apr 9, 2013   |    comments
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CLAYTON, Ga. -- The Rabun County Sheriff's Office is investigating the possibility that a wheelchair-bound woman was assaulted.

The victim, 21-year-old Ashley Hamilton, suffered extensive injuries to her head and face. Police found her at Raco's Sports Bar in Clayton on Apr. 3.

Rabun County Sheriff Frank Andrews said investigators think Hamilton was left in the care of family friends while her mother went out of town. The victim suffers from disabilities, including autism, and must use a wheelchair.

Andrews said Hamilton may have sustained her injuries on Apr. 2. Her face was bruised, bloody and swollen, and she also suffered several broken bones.

A home health professional said she told the victim's mother, Kelly Hamilton, to take the young woman to the hospital, but Ashley Hamilton did not receive medical attention until police and EMS found her at the sports bar. She is now being treated at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.

No arrests have been made, but Andrews said the sheriff's office has several persons of interest. A number of people were interviewed, and they all cooperated with police.

Investigators are now trying to determine when and how Hamilton was injured.

"We must be diligent in our efforts to find as much tangible evidence as possible since our victim is not in a position to tell us what happened to her," Andrews said in a statement. "It is in the interest of justice to see that no stone is left unturned."

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