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More details in Fairmount Park rape

Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Rape investigation

The search for a rapist continues after a woman was attacked Tuesday night in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park.

It happened near a parking lot in the vicinity of Bells Mill Road and Forbidden Drive.

According to investigators, the woman was raped around 6:30 p.m. as she was getting ready to go for a jog.

She said that's when she was approached from behind by a man who placed something on her back and said "Don't scream. I have a gun." No weapon was seen.

The attacker then forced the woman into a wooded area, where she was assaulted.

The man fled in an unknown direction.

The victim drove herself to Chestnut Hill Hospital where police were notified.

The description of the offender at this time is limited, police say, beacuse the victim was unable to distinguish his race, age or height.

She did say that he wore white gardening type gloves, dirty jeans and brown work boots. The male also reportedly had the odor of garlic on his breath and had a "gruff" voice.

Police officials do not have enough information to say if the suspect in this case is the man known as the Fairmount Park rapist, but Commissioner Charles Ramsey says they cannot rule out the possibility that the he has indeed struck again.

It has come to light, however, that this attack comes exactly two years to the day since the notorious rapist last struck in Fairmount Park.

He has been linked to four assaults including the rape and murder of medical student Rebecca Park.

"We don't know yet. We don't know, but obviously we're looking at that as a possibility. We don't know," Commissioner Ramsey said.

The Commissioner himself was on the scene of the crime Wednesday night, along with detectives from the Special Victims Unit, who combed through the site looking for potential evidence.

The scene of the crime is a picturesque ravine which has inspired many a painter, photographer, and writer from the likes of Edgar Allen Poe to famous landscape painter Thomas Moran.

The police presence in this serene area has been visibly upgraded.

Police ask anyone who was in that area Tuesday night who thinks they may have seen something that could be related to this case to contact Special Victims at 215-685-3251 or 52.

You can get the latest crime statistics from the Philadelphia Police by CLICKING HERE for the force's crime data mapping site.

(Copyright ©2014 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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