Police investigating the rape of a young Christchurch mum are
following up public sightings of the alleged suspect.
The sexual assault happened on mid-Tuesday morning while the
woman, in her 20s, was at her Middlepark Rd home caring for
her 7-month-old baby.
Officers say the attacker, a Maori or Polynesian aged in his
40s, of tall and stocky build, was wearing an orange fluoro
high-vis vest when he talked his way inside, saying he was
there to inspect storm damage.
Police have released a detailed description of the suspect -
saying he has a large nose with some red markings, a slightly
bushy moustache and dark, mop-like hair almost to his
eyebrows and covering his ears.
Officers earlier believed his top two teeth were missing, but
now think that one or two teeth might be missing on one side
of his mouth
Now, Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney, leading the
hunt, says they've had some positive leads, with the majority
of sightings have been in the southwest suburbs.
"The response from the public has been extremely good," he
"Several possible sightings have been reported to police
staff conducting door-to-door enquiries in the area around
Sockburn and Upper Riccarton. People have also been calling
in with useful information.
"We have a lot of information that we will continue to work
through - but we still need to hear from anyone who has seen
a man similar to the description we have released, or any
other unusual or suspicious activity."
Mr Sweeney says police are also interested the movements of
any vehicles in the area that may have seemed suspicious or
out of place.
The investigation, named Operation Middlepark, is continuing
today with police staff again focusing on door-to-door area
enquiries in the south-west suburbs.
Investigators are also visiting commercial premises and
making enquiries with bus operators and taxi companies.
CCTV footage is being collected from commercial premises, and
police are asking business owners in the south-west to
contact police if they have any available.
Enquiries will continue through the weekend.
Mr Sweeney yesterday praised the victim as being "a very
brave young lady".
"Of course she's very distressed," he said.
"She's been of immense help to the police for this
investigation going forward.
"She's well supported by her family, victim support, and of
course us in the police."
Anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch
police on 03 3637400, or by providing information anonymously
through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.