(Update 6:10 p.m): Help from the public and an intense investigation led police to the man they believe sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl May 24.
According to London Police Service Det. Insp. Kevin Heslop, as many as 10 officers worked the case at any one time including the entire sex assault and child abuse section and members of the criminal analysis and uniformed divisions until they arrested Dieu Chau, a 44-year-old London man on Wednesday (June 11).
Charged with two counts of abduction of a person under 14 and one count each of sexual assault and sexual interference, he remains in police custody pending a court appearance scheduled for Thursday (June 12).
None of the charges have been proven in court.
Heslop said Chau is known to police but wouldn’t elaborate for fear of prejudicing his case.
The detective said there wasn’t one call that identified the suspect but tips from the public verified information officers already had and brought in new facts that told them they were on the right track in “looking hard at this individual.”
According to police two girls aged nine and 11 were walking in the area of Southdale and Adelaide at around 7:30 p.m. that Saturday (May 24) when a man they didn’t know approached them in a car and enticed them to get in.
He drove them to Springbank Park where they walked “near Storybook Gardens and the wading pool” before returning to the vehicle and driving to a fast food outlet at Wellington and Commissioners at around 9:50 p.m.
He bought them food and returned to the park where they ate, then drove the nine-year-old girl back to the Southdale-Adelaide area, brought the 11-year-old to an unknown location and sexually assaulted her.
He then dropped her back off where he found her. Both girls returned home safely.
Police have Chau’s car and are going through a forensic analysis. Heslop wouldn’t elaborate on the rough description of the suspect vehicle police provided last week.
He said police have no information that Chau assaulted anyone else, but as with any investigation of this type they encourage victims of sexual assault to come forward so they can be connected with the services and support they need.
Police have also been promoting having safety talks with children since the abduction took place.
Heslop said the police service has crime prevention resources and a family consultant that can help parents have the conversation without scaring their kids.
Police welcome any further information the public can provide but Heslop said the investigation is close to winding down. There are no other suspects.