Windsor

Community gathers in support of 75-year-old woman assaulted on Ganatchio Trail

Hundreds of people gathered in solidarity to walk the Ganatchio Trail to show support for 75-year-old Anne Widholm, who was brutally assaulted in the area last Sunday morning.

'It could have happened in Riverside, South Windsor it could have happened in Sandwich Town or Downtown'

Mayor Drew Dilkens invited members of Neighbourhood Watch, Windsor Police and the public to join him in showing the city’s parks and pathways are safe and as a way of offering support to the victim. (Meg Roberts/ CBC News )

Hundreds of people gathered in solidarity to walk the Ganatchio Trail Sunday morning to show support for 75-year-old Anne Widholm, who was brutally assaulted in the area a week ago.

Mayor Drew Dilkens invited members of Neighbourhood Watch, Windsor Police and the public to join him in showing the city's parks and pathways are safe and as a way of offering support to the victim and the community.

Many members of the community are still trying to come to terms with what happened.

Charlene Fortin says she remembers seeing Widholm last Sunday picking up garbage just a half hour before she was assaulted. They briefly stopped to chat. Fortin then turned around and walked the opposite way.

"It's sad, it's really devastating," Fortin said, tears in her eyes. "We have been praying for her and her family."

Fortin says the area could use more lighting in order for residents to feel safe.

Dilkens says it's "a terrible, tragic, unfortunate event" but he also notes the attack could have happened anywhere.

"This was a random unprovoked attack, it could have happened in Riverside, South Windsor it could have happened in Sandwich Town or Downtown. There is no correlation between the location or where it happened and the actual attack itself," said Dilkens.

Hundreds of people showed up to walk the Ganatchio Trail after a 75-year-old woman was assaulted last Sunday. (Meg Roberts/CBC News )

The senior was attacked on Oct. 8 and remains in hospital in critical condition. A 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Dilkens said Windsor Police will continue patrolling the area by car and on bike. No additional officers have been assigned to the location.

Mass was cancelled at Riverside Baptist Church this morning, the church Widholm attended. Instead, members prayed together just off the Little River parking lot.

"I knew Anne for many many years" said Rita Davidson, also a member of the church. "I used to walk with her every morning … Her dog and my dog."

Davidson says when she heard the news she knew it was Widholm.

"I hope that she will come out of the coma, I pray that it's God's will, she is in my prayers all day everyday," she said.

"I miss her."

now