Calgary police have released photos of the suspect they’re searching for in an “extremely traumatic” sexual assault that happened in the community of Forest Lawn a year ago.
According to police, officers were called to the 500 block of 44 Street S.E. just before 5 a.m. on Sunday, July 14 for reports a woman had been sexually assaulted by a stranger.
“She left a residence she was visiting and was walking back home and we believe this was completely random, and her and the perpetrator intersected each other and the event happened,” Det. Jeff Anderson with the Calgary Police Service’s sex crimes unit said.
“In my career — you don’t see random attacks like this often and ones I have seen, this is one of the most violent.”
Investigators arrived to find a woman suffering from serious injuries. Paramedics took her to hospital in critical condition.
“If she wasn’t found when she was found, she would have died of her injuries,” Anderson said.
Police said it took three months before the victim had recovered enough to be released from hospital. They described her injuries as “life-altering.”
Florence Lamontagne lives in the area and called 911 at the time.
“I could hear she was moaning and so I called the police,” Lamontagne said.
“I’m outraged this could happen and someone would have the audacity to beat somebody to the point… if we wouldn’t have called police, she’d have been dead.”
On Monday, the one-year anniversary of the violent attack, police released pictures of a suspect, describing him as being in his teens or early 20s and between six-feet and six-foot-two-inches tall with a slender build.
Police said the victim hadn’t had any prior interaction with her attacker before her assault, and the attack is believed to have been random.
“The victim fought very hard to survive and our investigators are committed to finding the person responsible and holding them accountable,” Anderson said.
“Very frustrating and it’s worrisome. The person is still out there and they may or may not do something like this again.”
Anderson said the victim is a fighter and worked very hard to get her life back, but added there are some things that will stay with her.
“We are doing everything possible to find this person — turning over every rock — and we have used lots of resources to find this person and we are following up any and every bit of information,” Anderson said.
“It would mean a great deal to her. She doesn’t have a clear memory of what happened and that has to be frightening, not knowing why or how this occurred.”
Anyone with information about this assault or the identity of the suspect is asked to call the CPS sex crimes unit tip line at 403-428-8175 or the CPS non-emergency number at 403-266-1234.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Stoppers.
With files from Jill Croteau, Global News.