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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

UPDATE: Alice Gross: now a murder investigation



Police searching for missing teenager Alice Gross have found a body in the River Brent in Hanwell.

Detectives hunting for the 14-year-old, who disappeared nearly five weeks ago after leaving her home in Hanwell, said there had been "significant efforts" to hide the human remains.

She was last seen at Brentford Lock on August the 28th.

The body has been removed from the scene and Alice's family have been informed. Formal identification will now take place.

Alice's disappearance sparked a huge police search - the Met's largest since the 7/7 bombings.

Hundreds of officers from several forces around the country have been involved in the investigation, while the RAF was also drafted in to help identify new search areas.

The River Brent runs a short distance from Hanwell and the towpath next to the Grand Union Canal where Alice was last seen on CCTV.

Convicted murderer Arnis Zalkalns, who was filmed cycling along the same route behind Alice, has emerged as the prime suspect in the case.

The Latvian builder was reported missing within days of her disappearance, but police stressed he was just "one line of enquiry".

Statement from Commander Graham McNulty

Last night, 30 September, a search was carried out in the River Brent, as part of our ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Alice Gross.

Following this search we have sadly recovered a body from the water.

This is obviously a significant development and Alice's family has been informed.

We are unable to make a formal identification at this stage, but clearly this news is devastating for everyone involved in the search for Alice.

At this time my thoughts are with Alice's family and friends. I would ask you to respect their privacy and allow them space.
This is now a murder investigation and I need the public's help to find whoever is responsible.

I would urge anyone who may know something to come forward. Even if you have not yet spoken out it is not too late to tell us what you know.

I would like to thank the local community of Ealing who have shown huge support and patience during the course of our investigation. This discovery will have a significant impact throughout the borough.

You only need to walk around the surrounding streets to see the effect that Alice's disappearance has had on the whole community.

Our work at this scene is crucial to ensure we capture all the available evidence allowing us to identify who is responsible for this dreadful crime.

This may take some time, and I ask people to remain patient with us.

I can confirm that significant efforts were made to conceal the body.

At this point I do not wish to speculate any further on what has happened.

Finally, I would like to reiterate my request that Alice's family and friends are given the time to come to terms with this news. My thoughts, and those of all of us in the Metropolitan Police, are with them at this difficult time.
posted by Radio Jackie News Team @ 8:46 am  

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