Milton-Freewater area reeling from assault on woman

UMATILLA COUNTY, Ore. - An assault on an elderly Umatilla County woman has left a community reeling. Deputies told KEPR they do have a person of interest -- and have ruled out family members. So far no one is in custody.

A small, quiet stretch of road in a small, quiet town. Not the typical target for violent crime.

"It's frightening when you live out on a farm," said "Katie."

Deputies tell us Joyce Key was attacked inside her home on Schubert. The elderly woman who was found bleeding and unconscious by her own son Wednesday morning. Multiple agencies continued to surround the property the next day. People in nearby Milton-Freewater told KEPR they suddenly feel unsafe.

A woman we talked to was so scared, she didn't even want to show her face or use her real name when she spoke to us.

"My parents live out on a farm. They're older and you worry about somebody coming in a robbing them," added "Katie."

The last serious crime in the city of Milton-Freewater happened in December of 2011. Cecil Carter, known as "Rob" was murdered. The word rushing around town is that there's a connection to this case. Key was not actually attacked within Milton-Freewater city limits. She lives in an area known as Umapine. Deputies say there is no connection in this case to the murder of Carter.

"Even if you had a bunch of police, these things are still going to happen," said Milton-Freewater resident Zane Gray.

One person even started a Facebook group just this week called "Taking Back Our Little Town of M-F." More than 200 people are following.

"That's what we like to think. That we live in a small town, it's safer here," explained "Katie."

Hoping to keep a quiet community safer for everyone.

"Keep moving forward and treat everyone with respect and love," said Gray.

Key's condition is not being released but we know she is in a local hospital.