Police confirm photos taken in south end of Halifax
Halifax Regional Police say they have identified two of the women shown in photos they released to the media Thursday afternoon. Const. Brian Palmeter says the two women came forward after the photos were released, and they have agreed to speak with investigators.
He says the photos were taken in the south end of Halifax at least one year ago. The women, who were unaware their photos were being taken, have since moved out of Halifax.
Police are still hoping to identify the other two women.
Police say the highly unusual decision to release photographs of women who may have been peeped-on has resulted in tips. Investigators say they followed up five leads following supper-hour television broadcasts Thursday evening.
The grainy, cropped photographs were emailed to news media late Thursday afternoon.
"Investigators would like to speak with them to determine the circumstances through which their images were captured," said police spokesperson Const. Brian Palmeter.
It is rare for police to release photos like these, unless they are searching for a suspect or person of interest in relation to a crime, but Palmeter said that is not the case here and the women may be victims if all of the photos were taken without their consent.
Normally police don't release photos of possible victims due to privacy issues, but Palmeter said the public is at risk, and the risk is high enough to justify the release of the photos.
Police confirm the photos were taken in the south end of Halifax and they were seized after police executed a search warrant at a residence.
Palmeter says the search warrant was a result of an investigation into break-ins and drugs and they seized the items that included the photos in their search at a residence, although he wouldn't elaborate on what the items were.
Police won't confirm if their investigation is related to the ongoing sleep watcher case, but Palmeter says they can't rule it out either.
In the last few years, more than 20 women have awoken to find a strange man in their bedroom, watching them sleep.
Still, some Haligonians are making a connection.
"I think it's terrifying," Jane Butain told CTV News Thursday evening. "It means he's escalating, and if we don't find him quick, something dangerous is going to happen to one of these females."
Palmeter admited publicizing the photos was a difficult decision, but insisted it was necessary.
"Today, we feel, based on the file we're investigating, the risk is significant enough to warrant putting these pictures out," he said.
Investigators are asking anyone who recognizes the women in the photos to contact them.