The victim says the man kicked in the front door of her home in the Crosswinds Green Apartments complex off Legion Road around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, assaulted her, attempted to rob her, and then fled on foot.
The suspect is described as a black male, who was last seen wearing a mask and a fur trimmed brown coat.
Deputies using a tracking dog followed the man's trail to a nearby vacant home, but he has not been found.
"It looks as though he probably had a vehicle parked there in that area where he left the scene, we think," explained Sheriff Earl R. Butler.
In the meantime, Butler is warning residents to be extremely cautious and keep doors and windows on homes secured and areas well lit. Anyone who sees unusual activity in a neighborhood should contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately.
The attack has neighbors who live near the victims concerned.
"It's frustrating. Just the fact that another human being would think it's okay to do that to another human being," offered a neighbor who asked not to be identified.
Although it's early in the investigation, Butler says the incident does not seem to be linked to a series of rapes and sexual assaults that's plagued Fayetteville and surrounding communities over the past year.
However, there are some similarities like the victim being home alone, the suspect wearing a mask and kicking in the door of an apartment.
Anyone with information, or who may have seen a suspicious looking individual in the area, is urged to contact the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 323-1500.