Search teams have scoured a narrow lane in Moray where a woman was left with serious injuries following a suspected attack just metres from her home.
Officers combed the path and nearby gardens on Woodside Terrace in Elgin yesterday in an attempt to find clues as to what happened to the 44-year-old.
Last night, police confirmed the victim, who lives on the street, remained in a “serious” condition in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with significant head wounds.
Officers are continuing to treat the injuries as “unexplained” but have revealed that one avenue they are investigating is that she may have been assaulted.
Detective Inspector Norman Stevenson said: “We understand that the woman was making her way to work and at this time there would have been people about either walking or driving into work.
“In particular, we would appeal to anyone who was in the area at about 5am and may have dash cam footage from their car to contact us.
“The woman remains in hospital in a serious condition and our inquiries continue to establish how she came to be injured. We are following a number of lines, one of which is that she may have been assaulted.”
The woman was found slumped in the lane between Woodside Terrace and Kirkhill Court shortly after 5am on Thursday morning.
Neighbours reported seeing “pools of blood” in the lane while the woman was “unrecognisable” due to the extent of her injuries.
Police are understood to be doing door-to-door inquiries and are eager to speak to anyone who was in the Newmill Road, Pansport Road or South Lesmurdie areas at the time.
Elgin City North councillor Paula Coy added: “It’s frightening that something like this could happen in our community. It doesn’t happen often, which makes it more shocking.
“It’s an awful thing to happen to the poor woman and her family. I just hope that someone has information that can help the police.”
At the time of the incident the woman was wearing a light-coloured jacket, blue jeans, brown boots and had a black handbag. She has fair hair.
Anyone with information should contact police by phoning 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.