San Diego

CVPD Finds Clue That Could Lead to Suspect in Sexual Assault at Park

Investigators found new evidence in the case of a young woman who was knocked unconscious and sexually assaulted while walking through Otay Park, the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) said Wednesday.

The woman in her mid-20s was exercising on a staircase at the east end of the park on Albany Avenue at about 8 p.m. Monday when at least one person attacked her and she lost consciousness, CVPD Sgt. Matt Smith said.

When she awoke, she realized she had been sexually assaulted and some of her belongings had been stolen, Smith said. She flagged down a person in the park and the passerby contacted police.

CVPD said the woman sustained serious facial trauma in the attack.

"It was a trauma case," Sgt. Smith said. "She was sexually assaulted and we are trying to get as many answers as possible."

The victim told police she was attacked from behind and wasn't able to provide a description of the suspect, but police said Wednesday that they had found new evidence that could lead to an arrest.

During a second search of the park and surrounding neighborhood, police found the victim's ID and other personal belongings stashed in a terracotta flower pot in the front yard of a home about a block away from the park.

Investigators think the suspect was discarding nonvaluable belongings he stole from the victim as he fled the scene on foot eastbound on Connoley Avenue. They're hoping the discovery can help them track his path and eventually lead them to his arrest.

The park is in a residential neighborhood and sits next to an elementary school and the Otay Recreation Center.

Officers spent the night checking surveillance cameras at homes in the area of the attack trying to get a clear picture of the man behind the assault.

CVPD believes there were people in the park before and after the attack.

"It makes me feel pretty scared because, like I said, I come here pretty much a lot and I don't feel safe just being in this park," park visitor Angela Diaz said.

The department is asking anyone who may know anything about this incident to contact the Family Protection Unit at 619-409-5830, or anonymous tips can be made by calling 619-422-TIPS (8477).

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