Neighbors relieved following arrest of man accused of rape

Neighbors relieved following arrest of man accused of rape
Deltber Keyes (Photo source: Gulfport Police Department)
Deltber Keyes (Photo source: Gulfport Police Department)

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Neighbors on 25th Street are still shaken up, three days after police say a 78-year old woman was raped in her own home.

They were just as shocked after learning that the suspect, 44-year-old Deltber Keyes, was arrested just blocks away on 26th Street. Many residents say the crime has changed how they feel about their neighborhood.

"I'm very, very surprised. Actually, one of my neighbors across the street said she used to see this guy walking up and down the street all the time," said Willie Isaac.

Isaac just moved to the neighborhood September to escape what he felt was a high crime rate in New Orleans.

"I thought it would be a better place for me and my family to raise my son in. Come to find out, this happened right around the corner from my house. It's back to square one," said Isaac.

To add to Isaac's worries, just an hour earlier, police cars were swarming several homes nearby to investigate a theft report.

Police say the elderly woman was checking out some suspicious noises outside her home last Sunday night when she encountered the suspect. Investigators say the woman was forced back inside her home, where she was raped.

Neighbors say they can rest a little easier, now that the suspect is no longer on the street.

"I'm just glad he's caught and hope he never gets out again," said Edith Pittman.

Since the attack, neighbors have focused their attention on helping the elderly victim, and keeping a closer eye on each other.

"I'm just grateful for our police force, how they were on the job so quick, resolve this matter and try to get this community back to what it was, where everybody can feel comfortable and everybody can rest at night," said Isaac.

Keyes remains in the Harrison County jail on a $1 million bond, and was assigned a public defender during his initial appearance. His preliminary hearing has not been set yet. 

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