Tampere police are investigating suspected offences against two minors in a wooded area of the city earlier this week. They are believed to have occurred shortly before 8.00am in the Kalkku district and at 3.30pm the same day in Tesomaa. The victims in both cases were underage girls, but police said it remains unclear what exactly took place in the first incident.
Police are investigating the Tesomaa incident as a possible case of aggravated rape, while the Kalkku encounter is no longer being treated as rape.
Lead investigator, detective chief inspector Joni Länsipuro said that the meetings between suspects and victims had been set up on social media. Police said that they disclosed this detail so that parents in the region would not worry about offenders on the loose.
Suspect still at large
Police said on Friday that they had not yet detained the main suspect in the cases. They are working with the theory that there is just one perpetrator and that he is an adult.
Police said that because of the ability to conceal one’s identity on social media, they have not been able to narrow down a suspect. They also moved to counter rumours that the suspect had a foreign background.
"Claims have been widely circulating on social media that foreign individuals are linked to the case. According to the information at hand there is no basis to these claims," Länsipuro declared.
Rape suspicions dropped in second case
A preliminary investigation has led police to dismiss suspicions of rape in the Kalkku incident. They are now considering whether or not it involves a suspected sexual crime or some other offence.
"One line of investigation is also that no crime occurred. We are currently looking into this," Länsipuro continued.
He also noted that the only factor connecting the two cases is that they occurred on the same day.
Common identifying marks
Police said that they were unable to zero in on any unique identifying factors the suspects might have, even after interviewing the victims. They added that they are so common that thousands of people would fit the description and that there would be so many tips from the public that they would complicate the investigation.
Officers will continue speaking with the victims. They added that they have also asked bus and taxi drivers if they had noticed anything out of the ordinary, but have so far not been able to track down the suspect or suspects.