Australian police have launched an international manhunt for a man accused of committing at least 27 attacks in Sydney over 16 years.
A DNA breakthrough has reopened a series of unsolved cases, linking the unknown man to 27 attacks in which he targeted women aged between 14 and 55.
Police have released two artist's impressions of the suspect, saying he was either armed with a knife or threatened his victims by saying he was carrying one during the attacks, and spoke with an Australian accent.
Investigators believe the man could be aged between 45 and 64 and have described him as being around 170cm tall, with a dark complexion, dark, wavy hair, brown eyes and a broad nose.
They say descriptions of his physique changed over time: in the 1980s he was described as having a thin build, in the early 1990s a medium build, and in the late 1990s he was described as having an athletic or muscular build.
He kept his face covered during his attacks and was dressed in casual clothing such as tracksuits, hooded jumpers and football shorts.
Police began investigating five sexual assaults which occured in 2000, establishing Strike Force Doreen in 2005 to investigate the sex crimes. The investigation was expanded to include the 27 attempted and actual sexual assaults between 1985 and 2001.
“For more than a decade, Strike Force Doreen detectives have been conducting extensive inquiries, which adds to the work conducted by their colleagues for 20 years prior,” detective acting superintendent Mick Haddow said.
“While we don’t believe any further offences have been committed by this man since 2001, we would always remind the community to be vigilant and look out for each other."
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies