Woman fights off home intruder with lamp

An Elkhart woman woke up Saturday morning to find a strange man hovering over her bed. She was able to fight off the intruder using a lamp. Now, police need the public’s help to track down the suspect.

The incident happened in the 1000 block of North Michigan St. in Elkhart between 4:00 and 5:00 a.m. Saturday.

Laura Miller, the victim, said she sensed another person’s presence in her bedroom. As soon as she opened her eyes, she saw a man staring down on her. Miller said her first instinct was to grab a lamp and start hitting the intruder over the head with it.

Miller believes the intruder made it into her home through a backdoor. Miller and her mother had grown accustomed to leaving windows open and not always checking the screen door to the yard.

“We've never felt odd leaving windows up at night,” Miller said. “We don't have AC so that’s our way of ventilation.”

Miller said she got home early Saturday morning and locked the front door of the house. She did not think to double check the back windows and door.

About 45 minutes after she got into bed, she had a big scare.

“You know how you can feel eyes on you,” Miller said. “I didn't hear anyone in my room. I just woke up to a face over my bed looking at me. That’s when I just freaked out.”

She reached for her nightstand and grabbed a lamp to defend herself.

“I had the fight instead of the flight response,” she said. “I just thought ‘I don't want you in my face,’ that was my first reaction. I started beating him with that a couple times. That is when he sort of gave up on his plan. He made his way out of my room and ran across the yard.”

Once the intruder left, Miller made another startling discovery.

“He had one of our kitchen knives at the end of my bed,” Miller said. “I realized that afterwards since it was dark. I didn't notice that at the time when I chased him out of my room.”

Kellsey Brewer lives next door and said the situation could have escalated very quickly.

“What was he going to do… Kill her?” Brewer said. “Hold it for her to be scared? Get what he wants to get his way? I’d be traumatized. I would not be able to sleep.”

Instead, Miller is taking steps to keep intruders out. She said she went out and bought an alarm system for her house the day the incident happened.

The suspect was last seen running away through Miller’s backyard, heading south. Police are trying to track this man down. They said the man may have injuries to his head and possibly his upper back.

Police describe the suspect as a white man, between 5’6’’ and 6’ tall, weighing between 150 and 190 pounds. The suspect was wearing a handkerchief over his face, according to Miller. Police tell Newscenter 16 they believe the suspect is between the ages of 22 and 38.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Elkhart Police Department at 574-295-7070.

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