CALGARY -- The Calgary Police Service has released photos of a person believed to be responsible for a vicious sexual assault in a southeast neighbourhood last year that hospitalized a woman for months.

In the early morning hours of July 14, 2019, police and EMS responded to  the 500 block of 44th Street S.E., in the community of Forest Heights, following reports of a sexual assault.

Following an extensive search of the area, officers located a severely injured woman in her 20s in a heavily treed-area in the yard of a home. The victim of a violent sexual assault was transported to hospital in critical condition where she remained for approximately three months.

"She had left the residence she was visiting and was walking back home," said Det. Jeff Anderson of the CPS sex crimes unit.  "We believe, from everything that we have seen in this investigation, that this was completely random and her and the perpetrator intercepted each other at this location."

"What we believe from the calls we received is that it started on the sidewalk and then ended up in the front yard. This scene has changed considerably since the date of incident. When this happened, from the sidewalk you couldn't make out that there was a house here. It was very heavily treed and heavily bushed and lots of shrubs. She was eventually taken into that area.

Anderson says it was by sheer diligence and good work from the responding officer that the victim was found in time to receive life-saving medical treatment.

"It's my personal opinion that if she wasn't found when she was found, she probably would have died of her injuries."

CPS officials say the woman continues to recover from the attack but the injuries she suffered changed her life.

"She spent many months in the hospital and some of her injuries will be forever there and they have altered the way that she's going to function. She's doing very well and she's a fighter and has worked really hard at getting back her life."

No arrests have been made in connection with the attack and the victim did not know her attacker.

"This was an extremely traumatic assault," said Det. Jeff Anderson of the CPS sex crimes unit. "The victim fought very hard to survive and our investigators are committed to finding the person responsible and holding them accountable."

Surveillance footage was gathered from the area and police have released images of the suspect in the attack.

"We realize that the pictures are not great. They're taken from surveillance footage at night with poor lighting. I don't expect that someone might recognize the person — however, if they do that would be great."

The suspect is described as:

  • Being in his late teens or early 20s
  • Being between 183 and 188 cm (6 and 6-2) tall
  • Having a slender build

"It's very frustrating and it's also worrisome that this person is still out there. They may or may not do something like this again."

Anyone who recognizes the suspect or who has information about the assault is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service at 403-266-1234 or anonymous tips may be submitted to Crime Stoppers.