THE woman discovered with serious head injuries in Elgin before dawn yesterday was just yards away from her own house.
The 44-year-old, who is still being treated at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, is understood to be Polish.
She was found in an alleyway in the Newmill area of town at about 5am on Thursday morning.
Police are currently investigating whether she was assaulted. Several officers are still currently at the scene and have taped off the alleyway leading between Woodside Terrace and Riverside Drive.
It is also understood that the woman often walked early in the morning to the bus stop in order to go to work at the Walkers factory in Aberlour.
A neighbour said: "It’s terrible something like this happening on your own doorstep.
"I don’t know the woman well but I do know she is a hard-working person.
"The police came round asking question at about 7.30pm last night.
"They were wanting to know if we saw or heard anything."
It is understood that the woman, who has not been identified by the police, has lived on Woodside Terrace for at least the last two years.
Detective Inspector Norman Stevenson said: "We understand that the woman was making her way to work.
"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 around 5am and may have dash-cam footage from their car to contact us. We would ask that anyone who was in the Newmill Road, Pansport Road or South Lesmurdie areas of Elgin get in touch with us.
"The woman remains in hospital in a serious condition and our enquiries continue to establish how she came to be injured. We are following a number of lines of enquiry one of which is that she may have been assaulted."
The woman is described as having fair hair and is of average build. She was wearing a light coloured jacket, blue jeans, brown boots and had a black handbag with her.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting incident number 0354 of 26 October or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.