Police run out of leads in hunt for city rapists

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DETECTIVES have drawn a blank in the hunt for a pair of sex attackers who raped teenage girls in separate incidents.

Police investigating the rape of a 17-year-old girl in the grounds of a city church five months ago recovered a DNA sample from the suspect.

But a search of the national criminal database failed to find a match, despite being checked against more than three million offenders.

The profile will be kept in case the man is arrested in the future and gives a positive match.

Meanwhile, detectives hunting the man who raped another 17-year-old at last summer's Royal Highland Show at Ingliston admitted they had carried out "all available inquiries", although the case remains open.

Despite the lack of success, officers appealed for further information from witnesses and pledged that both inquiries would stay active until the offenders were caught.

The first victim, who lives in Edinburgh, was assaulted in the grounds of Buccleuch and Greyfriars Church in West Crosscauseway at around 3.20am on December 17.

The teenager was returning home from a night out with friends when she was approached by her attacker in Nicholson Street, who asked the girl for help in flagging down a taxi.

The pair were later standing near the George Square campus of Edinburgh University.

The attacker then lifted the girl in a "bear hug" and carried her down Quarry Close and into the churchyard.

She eventually managed to fight free and run off before contacting police a short time later.

Detectives appealed for potential witnesses to come forward after only a single call was made to police in connection with the assault.

An appeal to taxi drivers also failed to produce any useful feedback from the cabbies, who may have seen or picked up the suspect.

The earlier rape took place on June 24 in the north car park of the Ingliston showground as the victim made her way back to a nearby caravan. The girl had left a teenage disco and, after having a burger at one of the stalls, she was looking for a friend so that she could return a borrowed mobile phone to her.

After asking passers-by for directions, she became lost and found herself at the west side of the north car park at 2.45am.

The girl was knocked to the ground and raped. Search teams combed the area where the assault took place in an effort to find more clues.

Investigators drew up a list of people staying overnight in tents and caravans on the site and sent out dozens of letters asking for information.

But only a handful responded to the plea for help on tracing the sex attacker who assaulted the girl, who lives outside the Lothians.

A police spokeswoman said: "Inquiries are continuing into the attack in December.

"Detectives have carried out all available inquiries to date regarding the incident at the Royal Highland Show, but the case remains open.

"We would urge anyone with information on either incident to contact police."

The suspect in the churchyard attack was white, around 25 years old, 5ft 10in tall and clean shaven, with short blond hair, brushed to the right. He had a Scottish accent. He was wearing a dark blue checked shirt and dark trousers.

The earlier suspect was described as white and in his early 20s, with a shaved head and a shaved mark through one eyebrow.