The Metropolitan Police could face an investigation after it emerged that its officers spoke to Owami Davies on the day she was reported missing.
The missing 24-year-old student nurse, from Grays, Essex, left her family home on 4 July and was last seen on Derby Road, West Croydon, south London, on 7 July.
Her family reported her missing on 6 July to Essex Police, who handed the investigation to the Metropolitan Police on 23 July.
But on Saturday, the Metropolitan Police revealed that its officers had spoken to Ms Davies on 6 July.
The force said officers were called to an address on Clarendon Road, Croydon, over concerns about the welfare of a woman.
Watch: CCTV shows missing student nurse Owami Davies
Officers attended and called London Ambulance before speaking to the woman.
The Metropolitan Police said she did not want help and left the address before the ambulance could attend.
Ms Owami had not been marked as a missing person on the police database at the time.
The Metropolitan Police only later established that the woman was Ms Davies as a result of their missing person investigation.
The force said its professional standards body was consulted and is not investigating the officers.
However, the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), had requested the matter is referred to it.
It is now considering whether to investigate Scotland Yard.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) were consulted and as there has been contact with police, the IOPC were informed.
“The IOPC has requested the matter be referred to them. The officers are not subject to any current investigation by the DPS.
“The interaction recorded on the officers’ body-worn video has been viewed by members of the Independent Advisory Group and Owami’s family to ensure openness and transparency.”
The IOPC said in a statement: “We can confirm that we received a referral on 5 August from the Metropolitan Police Service in relation to contact officers had with Owami Davies in Croydon on 6 July, after she had been reported missing to Essex Police.
“We are currently assessing the available information to determine what further action may be required.”
The Metropolitan Police has issued several appeals for information over Ms Davies’s whereabouts and arrested five people – two on suspicion of murder and three on suspicion of kidnap – who were all later released on bail.
The force issued a fresh appeal at the beginning of last week, saying Ms Davies could be in Croydon and “in need of help”.
On Thursday, British Transport Police (BTP) tweeted that the 24-year-old could still regularly be taking trains, may appear dazed or confused and may be seeking to engage with women travelling alone.
BTP said: “Owami may still be regularly travelling by rail in a vulnerable state, appearing dazed or confused and possibly seeking to engage with other lone female travellers.”
Essex Police said that after beginning the missing persons investigation, “it became clear a significant number of inquiries to locate Owami were in London and so the investigation to find her was formally transferred to the Met on 23 July”.