A neighbour has told of the horrific moment a mother found her missing son’s dead body after a frantic search.
Azoulas Zygelis, 15, was discovered by family members who had taken upon themselves to search Thames View in Barking after their son didn’t return home from meeting friends in Newlands Park at 6pm on November 1.
He left the park from the Roxwell Road exit and was not seen again, police said.
Azoulas was reported missing by his family immediately and also launched a social media campaign to track his last movements.
It took three days until the Eastbury Community School student was discovered by his godfather in a shallow waterway.
His mother told The Standard she was still waiting for answers from police that could explain how her son died.
Neighbours said there was no signs of a struggle or fight to get out of the stream and Azoulas was found without any identification, phone or wallet on him.
One neighbour, 50, told The Standard: “I didn’t hear anyone shout in distress that night. I didn’t even know there was a stream back there.
“Then his godfather came knocking at my door. He couldn’t speak much English but was panicky and upset.
“He shouted ‘my godson, my godson’ and pointed out where he was over the road. I saw the body in the water.
That’s when I said to police to send ambulance, fire brigade, forensics anything you have got - there’s a dead body here.”
“Within seconds the father, the mother and the brother turned up in a car and ran over screaming and shouting. No-one touched him, no-one went in there.
“You can hear the family crying, it’s awful, I was crying with them and giving them tea.
“I just hope his family get a resolution, god knows what they are going through. Wondering what could have been so bad for him to die that way.”
Friends have laid candles and made a makeshift shrine to Azoulas yards from where he was discovered.
His ex-girlfriend comes to light candles every night at the spot where he was discovered, neighbours said.
A note left there pays tribute to “their favourite person in the world.”
It reads: “I’m going to miss you singing Bruno Mars to me with your terrible singing voice... Your warm hugs, you were the best hugger and you never failed to hug everyone. I’m definitely going to miss our crying together moments and you always telling me you loved me and I look pretty. I love you so much goodbye.”
Following the discovery of Azoulas’s body, a post-mortem examination took place at Queens Hospital, Romford with inconclusive results.
The Lithuanian family held a funeral for him at the Roman Catholic Church of St Casimir in Bethnal Green on November 6.
He was known to have been in Felton Road, Barking at around 5pm and it is understood he travelled to Newlands Park, Barking to meet friends for a short while, police said.
DC Lisa Jones, leading the investigation, said Scotland Yard were waiting for lab results back to determine his cause of death.
She said: “I would urge anyone who was lives along the route between Felton Road and Newlands Park to check doorbell footage on that afternoon and evening to see if you captured Azoulas.
“I would also appeal to any drivers to check dashcam footage too.
“It is a relatively short distance from Newlands Park to where Azoulas’s body was found so if you live in the area around the park, please check whatever footage you may have on the evening of 1 November until 3 November – no matter how insignificant you think it is, it could provide vital clues for our investigation.
“Any information people can provide could be of great assistance to us.
“Azoulas’s death remains unexplained and we are making progress from our initial enquiries to establish the circumstances of his death.
“However, we will work tirelessly to ensure his family are provided with any answers that can clarify how this tragic incident occurred.
“Azoulas’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers as the investigation continues”.
Anyone who can assist is asked to contact police on 101 via Twitter @MetCC. Please quote CAD4262/03NOV.
To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.