Detectives hunting for a killer and serial rapist have found DNA evidence linking the suspect to another rape.

The body of Michelle Samaraweera, 35, was discovered in a small park off Queens Road, Walthamstow, east London, on May 30. She had been raped and strangled.

Police have launched a massive inquiry to trace the culprit who may be behind a string of other sex attacks in the Walthamstow area.
The latest linked rape took place on April 29 at 1.30am in the grounds of St Saviour’s Church, Markhouse Road.

A 32-year-old woman was attacked from behind as she walked to a branch of the supermarket Somerfield.

Officers were alerted by a neighbour who heard screams and found the victim semi-clothed and extremely distressed in the churchyard.

The first rape linked to the attacker took place on March 24 when a 59-year-old woman was forced into her home near Queens Road.

The second took place on April 22 when a 46-year-old woman was forced into an alleyway near St James Street railway station.

Police have also appealed for information about two further assaults on women in the South Grove and Markhouse Road areas in March.

They have not been linked by DNA but appear similar to the other incidents.

On Thursday March 19, a man armed with a knife grabbed a 16-year-old girl in South Grove opposite the Alpha Business Centre, E17.

A group of men driving a silver-coloured car witnessed the attack and rushed to help her, enabling her to escape.

On Thursday March 26, a 46-year-old woman was walking close to St Saviour’s Church when a man grabbed and assaulted her. Three men stopped to help.

Investigators have launched a mass voluntary DNA sweep in a bid to identify the attacker and rule out other suspects.

Anyone found to match the suspect’s description during hundreds of house-to-house and street inquiries has been asked to provide a DNA sample.

A black and white image depicting the clean-shaven Asian suspect aged between 30 and 45 has been seen by millions of people after it was broadcast on television.

Detective Superintendent Vic Rae (Homicide and Serious Crime Command) said he wants to speak to the victims in all the attacks and those who helped them.

He said: “We have now managed to officially link a third sexual assault to the murder of Michelle Samaraweera.

“It is essential that we work with the community to trace the man responsible as soon as possible.

“We need to hear from anyone who has any suspicions. Any information, however small, could make a real difference to us.”

:: Anyone with information should call the incident room on 0208 345 3715 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Source

Advertisements