Police are appealing for witnesses after a vulnerable woman was raped in a Lothians beauty spot in broad daylight.
The victim, who is in her early 20s, was subjected to the attack between 1pm and 4pm on Friday, May 17 in woodlands at the Gore Glen Country Park/ Arniston Estate area, near Gorebridge, Midlothian.
Officers want to trace witnesses who may have spoken to or seen a distressed woman in that area or remember seeing this same woman with a man in the woods or in the town itself.
They are particularly interested in any dog walkers in the estate area on that afternoon.
Detective Inspector Derek Long, who is investigating the attack, said: “The woman involved has been very traumatised as a result of this attack.
“The victim travelled there by bus from Edinburgh with a man who she had only known very briefly and walked her to the Gore Glen.
“We believe the route they have taken to enter the park was through Engine Road.
“The girl was not familiar with that part of Gorebridge and although she knows she went for a walk in a wooded area, she can not tell us how she accessed the park. We are trying to identify witnesses who might have seen her within the park in a distressed state.”
After the attack, the victim – who is described as ‘vulnerable’ – left the park.
She walked along Engine Road, Hunterfield Road and on to New Hunterfield Road, where she is believed to have boarded a Lothian number 33 bus back to the Capital.
Officers are particularly keen to speak to a man waiting at a bus stop, who may have seen her. It is not known the direction in which her attacker headed, although it is believed he left the park before her.
The woodland park, on the banks of the Gore Water and River South Esk, is popular with walkers and families.
DI Long said: “We’re keen to speak to dog walkers who may remember being in the area at that time and who may have seen something. The victim, who was visibly upset, may have spoken to a couple of people to ask how she could get back to town.”
The woman is described as white, in her early 20s, 5ft 2in tall, with dark, straight shoulder-length hair. She was wearing a white vest top and faded blue jeans.
Her attacker is described as being white, 6ft 3in tall, in his mid-20s with a slim build and short fair hair. He was wearing blue faded jeans and a white T-shirt.
Officers, who are checking CCTV footage of the area and conducting door to door inquiries, are following a positive line of inquiry.
Gorebridge Councillor Jim Muirhead said: “I go walking in Gore Glen quite often and you do see women walking on their own. It’s generally a very safe place to go.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101.