Police are on the hunt for the “person you’d least suspect” after linking two sex attacks on young women that happened more than five years ago following DNA advancements.
The sexual assaults took place in the south west of Edinburgh in August 2015.
The first victim was grabbed from behind and sexually assaulted in Craiglockhart Quadrant on Wednesday, August 5.
The 21-year-old had got off a bus in nearby Colinton Road shortly before the attack at around 10.30pm. Police said the man had not been on the bus.
Three weeks later, on Thursday, August 27, the attacker struck again but this time raped his victim.
The 19-year-old victim had got off a bus in Lanark Road West shortly after midnight.
The man approached her in the Newmills Road area and claimed he had a knife. He then led her to a nearby field, where she was seriously sexually assaulted.
DNA advancements have enabled investigators to establish that both attacks were carried out by the same person.
Police have a full DNA profile for the man responsible, but need the public’s help to find him.
Detectives are asking people to think back to August 2015.
At that time, Edinburgh’s Festival Fringe was taking place. The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo’s theme was East Meets West and marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Detective inspector Jon Pleasance said: “We believe we’re looking for the person you’d least suspect; someone whose community wouldn’t think is responsible for such horrific offences.
“We’re asking everyone, please think back to the summer of 2015. Was there someone in your life – a friend, family member or colleague – acting different? Was their behaviour around this time at all unusual for them?
“Don’t dismiss your concerns, no matter how small they seem. We have a full DNA profile of the person responsible and so can quickly and completely rule people out. Help us find who did this.”
If you have any information, call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.