Body found in search for Clapham attack suspecton February 20, 2024 at 5:53 pm

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The police hunted Abdul Shokoor Ezedi after a mother and two girls were hurt with a corrosive liquid.

CCTV image of Ezedi

A body has been found in the River Thames by officers searching for chemical attack suspect Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, the Met Police have said.

Officers began hunting for Ezedi, 35, after a woman and two girls were attacked in Clapham on 31 January.

He was last seen on CCTV leaning over London’s Chelsea Bridge and was thought to have entered the water.

Police said distinctive clothing on the recovered body have led them to believe it is that of Ezedi.

Officers have not formally identified the body, however.

Commander Jon Savell said: “Based on the distinctive clothing he was wearing at the time of the attack and property found on his body, we strongly believe we have recovered the body of Ezedi.

“We have been in contact with his family to pass on the news.”

The police chief added that visual identification had not been possible and that DNA testing and dental records would be needed.

“That may take some time,” he said.

A marine policing unit had been conducting low tide searches and recovered the body on Monday at Tower Pier [close to Tower Bridge], he said.

Cdr Savell also confirmed that the woman attacked in Clapham remains in hospital but is now in a stable condition and no longer sedated.

“We have still not been able to speak to her but hope to as soon as she is well enough,” he said.

The Met received 500 calls with information about Ezedi during the manhunt, which had a £20,000 reward in place for information leading to his arrest.

In a statement, Cdr Savell thanked those people: “The public support for our investigation was overwhelming and every piece of information provided was followed up.”

Abandoned car in Lessar Avenue

Image source, PA Media

Ezedi, from the Newcastle area, is alleged to have poured a strong alkali on his ex-partner, and injured her two young children, aged three and eight, on January 31 in Clapham.

His car was spotted in Newcastle shortly after midnight on that day but had travelled almost 300 miles (480km) to reach Tooting in south London at 06:30 GMT. It was then spotted in Croydon on the edge of the capital at 16:30.

Police say there is a “very strong indication” that Ezedi, who is believed to have travelled to the UK on a lorry from Afghanistan in 2016, had been in a relationship with the woman hurt in the attack and had arranged to meet her in London.

They say the breakdown of their relationship may have been his motive.

His car was spotted in Streatham, south London, at 19:00. Some 25 minutes later in Lessar Avenue, Clapham, the attack, which involved the use of a “very strong concentrated corrosive substance”, took place inside the vehicle.

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