Durham Regional Police say they are not ruling out the possibility that a missing 50-year-old woman found critically injured near a Whitby creek earlier this week may have been randomly attacked by a stranger.
Shortly before 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, officers discovered a female near a creek southeast of Taunton Road East and Anderson Street.
The woman, police say, had suffered multiple serious injuries “consistent with an assault” and she was rushed to a Toronto trauma centre via air ambulance.
Police say the 50-year-old victim, who remains in hospital in critical condition, had been reported missing the night before after going for a walk in the area and she was found after police spent several hours searching the neighbourhood overnight.
In an update on Saturday, Durham police confirmed that officers are continuing to canvass the community to find any possible witnesses along with video surveillance footage from nearby houses and businesses.
“At this point in the investigation, no arrests have been made and efforts continue to determine the nature of the assault and the person responsible,” police said in a media release sent out on Saturday morning
“Investigators have not ruled out the possibility of this being a random attack by a stranger.”
Police are urging people to “remain vigilant” when it comes to personal safety, encouraging residents to walk or jog with a friend and try to stay on well-lit main streets.
“Multiple media inquiries have been made about a missing Ontario Shores outreach patient from Oshawa and his connection with this case. At this time, there is no information that connects him to this incident,” the news release read.
“His whereabouts are unknown and it is believed he may have left the region.”
Speaking to CP24 on Saturday morning, police confirmed that members of the homicide unit have taken over the investigation due to the “unusual” nature of the case.
Police are asking anyone with information about the assault to contact the Durham Regional Police Service’s homicide unit.