Police have issued an e-fit of a man they want to identify following the rape of a teenage girl three years ago.

Officers today (Monday, September 11), released an image of the man they want to trace, three years to the day after the attack took place in Epping.

At around 5.30pm the victim was walking in the Thornwood Common area when she was asked by a man to help him find his dog.

While walking with the suspect, the victim was led to a secluded spot and raped.

The rape was disclosed to officers in September 2016, before an investigation launched by Essex Police's Adult Sexual Abuse Investigation Team.

DI Mark Barber, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are determined to pursue every investigative opportunity open to us in the search for the man who committed this offence.

“The area where the rape happened is a well-known spot, and there is a chance that someone may have seen either our victim or the suspect, but at the time may have not thought anything of it.

“We are releasing the e-fit, which we are confident is an accurate likeness of the man we want to speak to.

“Stranger rape is a very rare offence and this is being treated as an isolated incident. However, for those who have been the victim of any kind of sexual assault, the effects can be long-lasting.

“I would like to thank the young woman in this case for her bravery in coming to us to report it, and for supporting the investigation.

“If you think you may have been in or near Thornwood Common on the day of the incident, and saw something which could aid our enquiries, please do not delay in contacting us.”

  • Anyone with information on the attack is asked to contact DC Ben Rushmere at Grays police station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111.