Man charged with murder of mother whose body was found in bushes

A 20-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a mother-of-two who is thought to have been attacked after leaving a hospital.

The body of 45-year-old Maria Rawlings was found in bushes in Little Heath, Romford on May 4.

Police believe she was attacked after leaving the King George Hospital in Goodmayes, Ilford, the previous evening, walking to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12.

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Valentin Lazar from Barking was charged on Monday evening and is due to appear in custody at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

A post-mortem examination found that Ms Rawlings had been strangled and had suffered head injuries.

Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “My thoughts remain with Maria’s family at this incredibly difficult time.”

Anyone with information can contact the incident room on 020 8345 3865 or by calling 101 or tweeting @MetCC, and quoting the reference CAD3551/4May.