Video material released: New suspect in assault case in Østerådalen

by Nathalia Hentze Nielsen
The suspect in question. Photo: Nordjyllands Police.
The suspect in question. Photo: Nordjyllands Police.

On Friday, October 20th, two women were separately assaulted and raped or subjected to attempted rape in Østerådalen.

The police investigation quickly led to the arrest of a 29-year-old suspected perpetrator, who was detained on reasonable suspicion grounds.

However, an intense and extensive investigation continued with undiminished strength, and new information has come to light in the case, as stated in a press release by Nordjyllands Police.

The 29-year-old is being released, and Nordjyllands Police is now asking for the public’s assistance in identifying another suspect, for whom video surveillance footage is being released.

Carsten Straszek, the lead investigator from Nordjyllands Police, provides information about the case’s development:

“The 29-year-old was presented in a pretrial detention hearing and was detained because we had a legitimate basis for suspicion at that time.

In our investigation, we work with hypotheses to keep all possibilities open, and we have always been investigating the possibility that the perpetrator could be someone else. Based on new information in the case, there is no longer reasonable suspicion against the 29-year-old, so he is now being released.”

The police have refocused their investigation on a new suspect in the case, and they are now making public two video sequences.

The individual in question is a man who, on Friday afternoon in windy and cold weather, was seen in the Østerådalen and Aalborg SØ areas, at times barefoot.

The police urge anyone with information about this case to contact them at the telephone number 114.

The suspect’s movements

The investigative unit has the following information about the presumed perpetrator’s movements and clothing:

  • Around 15:00 to 16:50: Present in the Østerådal area.
  • Between approximately 15:00 and 16:35: The man was wearing a dark blue long-sleeved shirt, brown sandals, and a white cap.
  • After 16:30: He was seen barefoot and wearing a t-shirt.

The dark blue shirt and brown sandals were left behind by the perpetrator at the scene during his escape.

Between 16:40 PM and 17:10 PM, numerous citizens reported observing a person with bare feet and a t-shirt matching the suspect’s description. Based on these observations, the police believe this person moved from the crime scene towards the southeast via Landlystvej.

Subsequently, he moved north, either through Solhøjsvej, Christmas Møllers Vej/ Zahlesvej, or Apollonvej. Afterward, the suspect was observed moving along Byplanvejen to the northwest, Solvangen to the northeast, and Hellevangen to the northwest.

At approximately 17:10, the last observation occurred on Hellevangen near Sohngårdsholmsvej.

Witnesses reported that the barefoot suspect had a full beard, which might not be clearly visible in the surveillance footage, but it is an important detail to note.

Nordjyllands Police now operate on the hypothesis that the suspect lives or stays in the vicinity of Hellevangen, Beatesmindevej, or other nearby roads.

Citizens who may recognize the man or have suspicions about his identity are urged to immediately contact Nordjyllands Police at 114.

Contact the police with relevant video surveillance

The police have contacted many residents in the 9210 postal code area regarding video surveillance.

Residents and businesses with video surveillance in the area who have not yet been contacted by the police are requested to review their video footage and contact the police at 114 if they spot a person resembling the suspect from the publicly released video material. This applies even if you have images or videos of the man while he was still wearing sandals and a dark blue long-sleeved shirt.

Even the smallest leads and information can be valuable in establishing the suspect’s movements and helping piece together the full picture of events.

The police urge the suspect to come forward

Lead investigator Carsten Straszek encourages the suspect to turn himself in:

“This is an extremely serious case, and we have been investigating intensely from the beginning. The suspect should know that we are searching for him and intend to hold him accountable for his actions. We urge him to contact us immediately.”

Intensive investigation

According to Carsten Straszek, this case understandably creates unease in the local area:

“As we have emphasized before, these kinds of assaults are extremely rare, but when they occur, they understandably create a significant sense of insecurity.

I want to emphasize that we are fully focused on this case and are investigating intensively to apprehend the perpetrator. Nordjyllands Police will carry out measures to enhance security in the area, including increased patrolling. The mobile police station will also be set up at selected times to receive inquiries from residents who want to learn more about the police’s efforts and ask any questions they may have.”

Case timeline

On Friday, October 20th, a 32-year-old woman was subjected to a completed rape while walking on the trail system in Østerådalen shortly after 16:00 on Friday afternoon.

Approximately half an hour later, a 46-year-old woman was assaulted in the same area.

She was accosted and subjected to an attempted rape, likely by the same man. The 46-year-old woman managed to call for help from passersby, causing the perpetrator to flee the scene.

The man escaped in a southward direction.

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