An elderly woman was violently physically and sexually assaulted in her Woodbridge, Va., home on Monday night, police said.
An intruder attacked the 79-year-old victim while she was on the phone with a relative, according to investigators.
The relative alerted authorities to the assault.
Officers arriving on the scene said they saw a man running out of the victim’s house.
A friend of the victim who wished to remain anonymous told News4 that the intruder knocked on the woman's door, forced himself in when she answered and demanded cash, jewelry and credit cards.
The victim tried to fight off the attacker using techniques she saw on television, her friend said.
She probably would have been killed had police not arrived when they did, according to the friend.
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A police spokesperson said she did not know whether anything was taken from the victim's house.
Prince William County police are now looking for the attacker and trying to determine his motive.
The woman is recovering in the hospital.