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Body of Abdul Ezedi found in River Thames, police say

Police have carried out a number of searches for Ezedi's body in the Thames
Police have carried out a number of searches for Ezedi's body in the Thames - UKNIP

Detectives searching for Abdul Ezedi, the man wanted for the corrosive substance attack on a mother and her children in Clapham, have recovered a body from the River Thames.

The body was spotted by a passing boat close to Tower Pier at around 4pm on Monday, Scotland Yard said.

It was recovered by officers from the Met’s Marine Policing Unit and is being examined by detectives working on the investigation.

The mother-of-two who was allegedly attacked by Ezedi is no longer under sedation in hospital but has lost sight in one eye, according to friends.

A statement from friends of the family said: “We know Mum’s lost her sight in one eye and we’re praying that it returns fully in the other. Our friend is a phenomenal mum and the strongest, most independent person we know. She’s already making so much progress and is determined to get out of hospital as quickly as possible.

“Physically and mentally, there is a very, very long road ahead for her and the girls.”

While formal identification has not yet taken place, Scotland Yard said all the indications were that the remains were those of Ezedi.

Ezedi
Police said further tests would be needed to confirm the body recovered is Ezedi's

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.

“As you may expect after a considerable period of time in the strong current of the Thames, formal identification is not possible visually, nor from fingerprints. We will work with the coroner on other ways to complete formal identification, such as DNA testing and dental records. That may take some time.

“Our enquiries continue into the attack. I am pleased to say the condition of the 31-year-old woman has improved. She remains in hospital but she is 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.

“Again, I thank all those hundreds of members of the public who called us with information during the hunt for Ezedi. The public support for our investigation was overwhelming and every piece of information provided was followed up.”

A huge manhunt was launched last month after Ezedi, a former asylum seeker, travelled from his home in Newcastle and allegedly attacked a woman he had been in a relationship with, throwing a powerful alkaline in her face.

Following the attack, police pieced together his movements across London as he travelled on public transport and walked through the city streets.

The last known sighting of him was on Chelsea Bridge at around 11.30pm on Jan 31.

On Feb 7, the Met Police said they believed that Ezedi had entered the river at that point and they have been searching for his body since.

Officers from the Marine Policing Unit have carried out a number of low tide searches in the area surrounding Chelsea Bridge and have been scanning the area downstream.

One worker who helps run tours from Tower Millennium Pier said he had noticed around three or four rescue boats on late Monday afternoon along the stretch of water where Ezedi’s body is believed to have been retrieved.

The worker, who did not wished to he identified, said their team were briefly stopped from running tours during the retrieval of the body.

“I didn’t know exactly what it was, this time of the year they are always bringing stuff up.

“There were a bunch of blue lights, rescue boats, there.”

At midday on Tuesday there was no sign of any police activity, only a stream of news broadcasters and camera crews along the pier recapping to the public Ezedi’s final movements.