Mother raped after being forced into car with her toddler while on seafront walk
Detectives are hunting for two men who abducted a mother and her toddler in broad daylight and raped her in an ordeal lasting up to seven hours.
The woman was with her child on the seafront in Redcar when they were forced into a car between 11.30am and 12.30pm on Friday, Cleveland Police said.
They were driven to a different location, where the woman was raped, before being let go around five to seven hours later.
A Cleveland Police spokesman said the woman, in her 30s, and the toddler were near a boating lake when the dark-coloured saloon car drove towards them along a ramp.
Two men got out and made the mother and child get into the back of the vehicle, which was driven to Yearby, on Longbeck Lane, off the A174, where the woman was raped.
Police said the pair were let out of the car on Kirkleatham Lane, between the turn off for Kirkleatham Museum and a bus stop towards Redcar, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm the same day.
The woman and her child ran across the road and towards a wooded area.
The driver of the car is described as white, aged in his late 20s or early 30s, around 5ft 7ins to 5ft 10ins tall, with short, brown hair, of a large build and with the word "love" tattooed across his knuckles.
The car's passenger is described as white, aged in his early 20s, around 5ft 5ins to 5ft 6ins tall, of medium build, clean shaven, with brown hair and a local accent.
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.
"Redcar seafront is a busy area and, as a precaution, I would encourage anyone in the local area to be extra vigilant."
Detectives are appealing to anyone who may have seen two men in a dark saloon in the area of the seafront around the time of the incident or who may have seen the men or the vehicle in Yearby the same day.
They are also appealing to anyone 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 call Cleveland Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at www.crimestoppers-uk.org