A double murder investigation has been launched following the gruesome discovery of two bodies at separate addresses half a mile apart in Westminster.
Detectives tonight took the highly unusual step of issuing an image of Lee Peacock, 49, who they would like to speak to urgently.
Police attended a property on Ashbridge Street, Marylebone after concerns for the occupants at about 9.30pm on Thursday.
Officers found a 45-year-old woman who had suffered a knife injury. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Paramedics then alerted them to a man, 59, who died from a knife injury at another property in nearby Jerome Crescent, St John’s Wood at 02.15am on Friday.
Scotland Yard said neither victim is believed to be related but their killings are linked. There have been no arrests, a Met Police spokesman said.
The man and woman’s next of kin have been notified and are being supported by specialist officers. Formal identification awaits.
Post-mortem examinations will be scheduled in due course.
Detective Chief Inspector Wayne Jolley, who is leading the homicide investigations, said: “I would urge anybody that knows the whereabouts of Lee Peacock to contact police immediately by calling 999.
“If seen, we would urge the public not to approach him, but contact police as soon as possible.”
He added: “Firstly, our thoughts are with the families of the victims. We can only begin to imagine what they are going through.
“At this early stage we are retaining an open mind concerning motive, but at this stage we are treating these crimes as linked.
“We are very keen to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious around Ashbridge Street, or Jerome Crescent overnight.
“No matter how small or insignificant you think your information might be, please do get in touch.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Owain Richards, commander for Westminster, said: “We know that local residents will be shocked and troubled by this news.
“Crime scenes are in place in Ashbridge Street and Jerome Crescent and additional police resources and patrols have been deployed throughout the area to provide local reassurance.
“Anyone who has concerns is encouraged to approach patrol officers. To pass on information please call 101.”
Anyone who saw anything suspicious should call 101, giving the reference 7227/19AUG.
Information can also be provided to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.