More victims of Garneau rapist out there: police
Published Thursday, September 25, 2008 5:14PM MDT
The trail of victims left behind by the Garneau rapist may be longer than originally thought, Edmonton police said Thursday in their first update to the case since a third victim came forward in August.
Investigators held a press conference Thursday to ask any one who believes they man be a victim of the Garneau rapist to come forward to help them solve the case.
Police said they do not believe there are any new victims since the Aug. 9 attack in Aspen Gardens.
Officials also issued a stern warning to all women in Edmonton to be on guard, saying the attacks normally happen three to 10 weeks apart. It has been six weeks since the last attack.
Staff Sgt. Brian Readman said women should be concerned about their safety.
"There's no reason to believe that another event will not occur," he said.
Some experts say it's not surprising some women have not come forward. Only one out of 100 sexual assaults are reported to police, the Edmonton Sexual Assault Centre says.
"Very often victims feel they are responsible for what has happened to them and they are embarrassed about it," centre spokesman Karen Smith said. "Therefore they don't want to tell people."
Investigators say they have some persons of interests in the case, but no charges have been laid.
Police also admit public tips are starting to dry up, but they say they are seeking the help of an unnamed outside agency.
A disturbing series of attacks
The attacks in the Garneau neighbourhood began in late February when a 24-year-old was sexually assaulted in her home. A strange man reportedly broke into her house at 111 Street and 81 Avenue in the early morning while she was sleeping.
He allegedly attacked her and then fled.
Police said a similar attack happened again in May when a man broke into the same house again and sexually assaulted a 47-year-old women.
Investigators found the man also stole some money from the house before fleeing.
A week later, a strange man broke into a different home in the area of 111 Street and 80 Avenue.
He pepper-sprayed a 21-year-old woman and then sexually assaulted her.
The man then fled from the home.
On Aug. 9, a 68-year-old woman living in the Aspen Gardens neighbourhood was sexually assaulted in her own home.