Nelson police have been flooded with information from members of the public following the release of a computer sketch giving a likeness of the offender who attacked a 62-year-old woman at the Victory Community Gardens in Nelson on New Year's Day.
The offender is described as about 5ft 6in tall, with a short "number 3" haircut and either Maori or Polynesian. He has distinctive tattoos, one of which fully covers his arm from shoulder to wrist. The other arm is tattooed from the shoulder to the elbow. The tattoos are described as "tribal" style.
Detective Sergeant Ian Langridge said those who had provided information would be contacted by members of the investigation team, however, because of the amount of work involved that may take some time.
"I'd like to thank every person who has offered information and also ask for their patience while we sift through the information we have received."
Detective Sergeant Langridge said a team of 12 detectives were working on the case. They are being assisted by a large number of uniformed police officers.
"Our staff have come in from their days off and cut holidays short to offer to help out with this investigation. Like the rest of the community we are determined to find this person as soon as possible. With the level of community support we are receiving I'm confident we will find him."
The victim of the attack has now been released from hospital and is being well supported by family and friends.
"I am full of admiration for this woman. She has remained strong and offered police as much assistance as she can. She knows we are doing all we can to resolve this matter," Detective Sergeant Langridge said.
Police are hoping the forensic evidence will provide the DNA profile of the offender. That is being processed with urgency so investigators can have the results as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, police are maintaining high profile patrols in the area.
Police are still encouraging people with information to call Nelson police on 03 546 3840, Operation Corinna Freephone 0508 2674662 or 0508 CORINNA. Anonymous information can be given by calling Crimestoppers, Ph 0800 555 111.