Detectives turn to Crimewatch to find Sheffield rapist - WATCH THE VIDEO

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DETECTIVES investigating the rape of a Sheffield schoolgirl will make a national appeal for help to find her attacker tonight.

They are to appear on the BBC’s Crimewatch programme to ask viewers if they know the man responsible for the shocking attack on the 14-year-old as she walked through Fox Hill on her way home from school.

Extensive house-to-house enquiries and DNA checks on 80 local men have so far failed to find her attacker.

South Yorkshire Police believe the rapist knows Fox Hill well and that the key to cracking the case lies in the community.

Detectives suspect he may travel through the area or visit friends or family there and want to hear from anyone with suspicions about the person responsible to come forward.

They have the rapist’s DNA sample and said suspects can easily be ruled in or out of their investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Etheridge said attacks on young victims are very, very rare and the rapist is not linked to any other offences across the city.

But he said he has concerns that the attacker singled out a young, vulnerable child.

He said: “The victim was 14 years old – she is very young, petite in stature and does not look that age – it’s clear the offender has deliberately picked her out because of that and the fact it’s a child.

“We have a DNA sample from the offender – any name given to us can be easily eliminated.

“My appeal is if you know the offender ring in and provide us with the name we need. People do talk about what they have done. He may have confided in someone about what happened.”

The television appeal will feature a reconstruction of the attack and moments leading up to it in a bid to jog memories.

Anyone with information about the rape on Thursday November 4 should call South Yorkshire Police on 0114 2202020 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.