Police forces in more than 100 countries have been enlisted to help track down a violent Leeds rapist dubbed the “invisible” man.
West Yorkshire Police has circulated DNA details and other intelligence to counterparts worldwide as officers continue to hunt the predator who attacked and raped an 18-year-old woman in Beeston, Leeds, before leaving her for dead.
Despite an investigation by more than 100 officers, extensive CCTV evidence, DNA clues and an appeal on the BBC’s Crimewatch, the case remains unsolved more than two months on.
Det Supt Nick Wallen, who is leading the inquiry, said: “Given the resources that have gone into this investigation and the level of publicity it has had, for him to remain invisible and for this crime to be undetected is unprecedented, which leads me to believe that he was here for one night and one purpose only and then he has gone. But I believe someone in the community here may know who he is.”
The attacker had already stalked at least three other women on the evening of March 6 before grabbing his teenage victim as she stood at a bus stop on Beeston Road.
He dragged her into a nearby garden and battered her with a rock before raping her and walking away.
For him to remain invisible and for this crime to be undetected is unprecedented.
The woman is only thought to have escaped with her life because her head scarf and a hood she was wearing reduced the impact of the blows to her head.
Police believe the attacker was either Eastern European or Middle Eastern, but have expanded their request for help globally. Det Supt Wallen said: “Our DNA profile has been circulated across the world, to every police force possible. It’s gone to over 100 countries.”
Despite suggestions on social media that the rapist is still in Leeds, he said that was unlikely and added: “He has not offended since. We get lots of sexual offences reported to us – but I can categorically say none are linked to this case.”