As previously reported by Island Echo, Police cordoned off a path between Grange Drive and Heytesbury Road off Hunnyhill for more than 6 hours yesterday. Forensic investigators were at the scene gathering evidence and marked out 4 key points of interest along the short path.
Nearly 36 hours after officers locked down the area and began their investigations, Hampshire Constabulary are yet to issue a statement or appeal relating to the incident, leaving many local residents concerned about what has happened.
Gardens, footways and public land has been searched by Police, including near a pond, with officers returning to the area this afternoon to conduct further searches.
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that a unknown male sexually assaulted a woman as she walked home on Sunday morning.
The unidentified male, believed to be in his 50s, has been taken to Newport Police Station for questioning and remains in custody tonight.
There is no information so far to suggest there is a wider risk to the community at this time. Local officers are now carrying out extra patrols in the area to assure residents.
Detectives are working closely with the victim to support her welfare at this difficult time.
UPDATE TUESDAY @ 16:45 – A man arrested yesterday by Police has been released from custody with no further action to be taken after being eliminated from the investigation.
According to Hampshire Constabulary, several lines of enquiry are being pursued by detectives who are examining CCTV footage and analysing potential forensic evidence.
The report of rape is still being treated as an isolated incident according to Police with no wider risk to the community at this time. Island Echo understands Police are looking at the legitimacy of the allegation.
Anyone with information can contact the Isle of Wight Investigation Team by phoning 101. Mini-com users can phone 18001 101. Information can be given anonymously by phoning the independent Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111.
Editor’s Footnote: The period of time that officers have been searching the area, mixed with the large cordon and forensic examination, Island Echo are confident a serious incident has occurred. Due to the large public interest in the story, we have taken the decision to run with the report of an unconfirmed sexual assault with no information to the contrary to suggest otherwise.