"The knock at the door is sort of a signal that my cousin uses," the woman, who didn't want to be identified, told us. "And he used that same type of knock and so I didn't hesitate to open the door," she said.
While she let the stranger in to use the phone, she would soon learn that his intentions were far more sinister.
"He grabbed me by my arms and said, 'Where is your cash money'," she said. "That's what he was after, was money."
Showing an amazing amount of strength and courage, the 78-year-old woman then described to us how he then forced her into her bedroom where police say he attacked and sexually assaulted her.
"He pushed me on the bed and I was trying to kick him as much as I could," she told us.
She managed to break away for a split second and press the life alert button on her nightstand, which is used for medical emergencies.
"Of course, their voice came on," she said.
Before she could say anything, the suspect yanked the cord from the wall. Help never came because the connection was too short. Twenty minutes later, he was gone.
"I hope he enjoys every 30 dollars he took from me," she said. "He got away with my money, but he didn't get away with me."
West Columbia police are calling this an isolated incident. Still, patrols have been stepped up in the neighborhood where the attack happened.
No arrests have been made, but police are following up on some leads. They do have a vague description of the suspect and are working on a composite sketch.
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