Police working with victim to identify Stowmarket rapist who dragged woman down riverside path

  • Ch Insp Andy Pursehouse said police still did not know who the attacker was

Police hunting a rapist who attacked a young woman near a railway station said they were working closely with the victim to identify her assailant - but admitted they did not know who the attacker was.

The woman, in her 20s, was approached by a man at Stowmarket railway station in Suffolk late on Sunday before being dragged a short distance to a riverside path and assaulted, said police.

The station serves trains running between Norwich and London, as well as more local services.

Police tape has been put up at both ends of the narrow Gipping Valley river path which runs between historic buildings and the river near Station Road East.

Ch Insp Andy Pursehouse said it was not yet clear whether the victim or her attacker had been travelling on the trains before the incident.

He said specialist officers were working with the victim to build up a picture of her movements on the afternoon.

Ch Insp Pursehouse said it was also not clear whether the attacker was known to the victim.

Police said the woman was approached at the town's railway station on Sunday afternoon. Credit: ITV News Anglia

CCTV is being checked to give officers more information about who came from where and what happened.

Forensic officers have been out combing the river area for clues related to the attack, which is thought to have happened at some point between 3pm and 8pm.

Police said they had been unable to establish an exact timeline yet, and were seeking witnesses over the five-hour period to understand "the pattern of movement" of the victim and attacker.

Chief Insp Pursehouse told ITV News Anglia: "We don't know who the attacker was.

"We are putting out reassurance patrols and we've got officers out here all day on the scene and in the area to reassure the public.

"It is a very rare occurrence in this area and we want to reassure the public we are doing everything we can to bring this offender in."

A police cordon is in place at the scene while inquiries take place.

Det Insp Mark Hughes said: “I can understand this is concerning for residents in the area. This is a very serious incident, and the victim is being supported by specialist officers."

Police want to hear from anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage.

Detectives are appealing for any potential witnesses, including anyone who was in the vicinity of the Gipping Valley River Path, Stowmarket railway station or Station Road East, between 3pm and 8pm on Sunday 7 April.

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