Sean Schultz claimed that he heard a noise and woke up to the feeling of something like a covered wire tightening around his throat. As he recalled, a large gloved hand moved over his face, covering his mouth, eyes, and nose. He struggled and screamed, hearing his attacker utter a deep growling sound. The intruder ran out and across the hall. He followed Shannon, his 8-year-old brother, into the hallway and saw a man in his mother's room. When the man ran out past them, Sean saw him taking the steps three and four at a time, his green army jacket flapping. At the bottom, Sean noticed that he wore low-cut black shoes, like police shoes. He thought the man also wore a ski mask. Sean then went to his mother, who was still alive, and ripped open her shirt to fix the hole in her back. It was his impression that the man had exploded a firecracker in it. He wrapped gauze around his hand and used it to put pressure on the wound. At 2:30 a.m., he called Stewart Honeck to ask for help.
Shannon says he jumped out of bed when Sean screamed, saw a man, and kicked at the intruder. He described a large white male with reddish hair tied into a long ponytail, wearing a green jogging suit with yellow stripes running down the sleeve. The man then ran from the room and crossed the hall, entering their mother's bedroom. He heard a woman's voice say, "God, please don't do that." Then came a loud noise. He raced to his mother's room and saw a man standing over her bed. The man then ran past him and down the steps.
Twelve area residents (including two police officers) had seen a man matching the boys' description jogging in the neighborhood a few weeks before the murder. He had reddish-brown hair in a ponytail and was wearing a green jogging suit. He was seen carrying a blue bandanna, similar to the one used to gag the victim.
Two nurses at a nursing home one mile from the scene had observed something strange in the early morning hours of May 28. They had seen someone lying in the parking lot, had called the police, and had come back outside around 2:50 a.m. and observed a man with reddish-brown hair and a green jogging suit standing in the bushes.