A mother has been raped after she and her toddler were bundled into a car while they were walking by the seaside.
Police are investigating the six-hour long attack on the woman in her thirties that happened on Friday, March 3.
She had been walking with her toddler on the sea front near to the boating lake in Redcar between 11.30am and 12.30pm when a dark-coloured car drove along the ramp towards them.
Two men got out and forced the mother and child into the backseats.
The car headed down Turner Street and ultimately to Yearby, on Longbeck Lane off the A174, where the woman was raped. The child is said to have been unharmed.
Between 5.30pm and 6.30pm, the victim and her child were then forced out of the vehicle on Kirkleatham Lane, between the turn off for Kirkleatham Museum and the bus stop towards Redcar. They ran across the road and towards the wooded area.
Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Matt Murphy-King said: “This has been a very traumatic ordeal for the victim and her child. Thankfully, incidents of this nature are rare and this is an isolated incident.
“There are a team of detectives working on this investigation and we have increased patrols in the local area. Although we are investigating that the attackers may have known the victim, as a precaution, I would encourage anyone in the local area to be extra vigilant.
“Neighbourhood officers are patrolling the area of Redcar sea front and anyone who may have information is urged to speak to an officer, or to call Cleveland Police or Crimestoppers.”
The first suspect, who was driving the vehicle, is described as a white man, aged in his late twenties or early thirties, around 5ft 7in to 5ft 10in-tall, with short, brown hair and of large build with the word “love” tattooed across his knuckles.
The second suspect, the passenger in the car, is described as a white man, aged in his early twenties, around 5ft 5in to 5ft 6in-tall, of medium build, clean shaven and with brown hair. He had a local accent.
Detectives are appealing to anyone who may have seen two men in a dark saloon in the area around the time of the incident on the sea front on Friday or anyone who may have seen the men or the vehicle in Yearby the same day.
They are also asking for any witnesses who may have seen a woman and child in a distressed state in the area of Kirkleatham Lane on Friday evening.
Any witnesses or anyone with information is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.