Michiana Unsolved: The Rape of Natalie Garrett

Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 11:00 AM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. That’s why Christine Karsten felt it was important to highlight a case that has gone unsolved for close to 10 years now.

In this week’s Michiana Unsolved, we talk about what happened to Natalie Garrett, a woman who was raped in Elkhart.

It was around 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2013. Natalie Garrett was getting ready for work in her second floor North Lake Apartment in Elkhart. It was a morning just like any other.

“The detective’s belief is, there was an electrical box on the outside of the apartment building and their belief is, and underneath me, the people who lived underneath me had a grill, and their belief, they found footprints, that he put his foot on the grill, then electrical box and then he was able to climb up to my balcony,” Natalie explains.

Natalie walked into her bedroom to grab her shoes. As she bent over to grab them, she heard the sliding patio door open. As she stood up, there was an unknown male staring at her.

“He walked towards me. My initial reaction was to run towards the kitchen off of my bedroom when he grabbed me and yanked me backwards and threw me into my walk-in closet and began to rape me,” Natalie says.

Natalie described the suspect as a black male in his 20s or 30s. She says he was a thin build, wearing very baggy clothes, he had short hair, facial hair and a terrible odor.


“After the actual rape, he forced me into my bathroom, in which he forced me to get in the shower at which time he shut the door and told me not to come out. I could hear him in my kitchen, rummaging through drawers and things. At that moment in time, I thought, he was going to kill me,” Natalie says.

Eventually, the suspect fled with Natalie’s car keys, cell phone and $20 — items that still haven’t been found today. After taking a moment, she ran from her apartment and found a maintenance man who called police.

“Do I think that he watched me, I do. Detectives believe he was a transit, and I just, I don’t believe that.” Natalie continues.

While this case may be 10 years old, Natalie still has hope that someone will do the right thing and come forward. She is not giving up hope. If you have any information, you are asked to call Michiana Crime Stoppers at 574-288-STOP or 800-342-STOP. You can also submit a tip online by clicking here.

Every single tip is 100% anonymous. If your anonymous tip leads to the solving of this case or an arrest, you could receive a $2,500 cash reward.

We do want to take a moment to say thank you to Natalie for having the bravery to share her story with us. If you want to see Natalie’s full interview with Christine, you can do so by watching the video attached below:

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