Body of Clapham chemical attack suspect found in Thames, police believe

The body of alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi has been recovered from the River Thames after a major search, police believe.

Investigators said the identification was based on “distinctive clothing” he was wearing at the time of the attack and the “property found on his body”.

His former girlfriend, a mother-of-two who was doused with a corrosive chemical in a harrowing attack on her and her young children, is now no longer under sedation in hospital.

They said in a statement given to the PA news agency: “Mum’s still in critical care and desperate to be reunited with her girls.

“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.”

The friends’ statement continued: “Physically and mentally, there is a very, very long road ahead for her and the girls.

“Like so many of us, the family were really struggling to make ends meet before the attack, so we just want their recovery to not be compounded by financial fears.

“We know times are tough and the level of support so far means the world. Every donation helps, and sends a powerful message against this evil attack.

“We kindly ask anyone reading this to consider donating even the cost of a coffee to show Mum and the girls that the wider community has their back and they can feel safe again.”

(PA Graphics)
(PA Graphics)

He then fled the scene, and initially used his bank card to travel on the Tube before walking a route that broadly hugged the banks of the River Thames in the following hours.

During a massive manhunt investigators had to piece together CCTV footage to establish that he had jumped in the Thames.

At around 4pm on Monday the crew of a passing boat reported they had seen a body in the water near Tower Bridge at Tower Pier.

The body was recovered by the Metropolitan Police’s Marine Policing Unit, with support from London Fire Brigaede, and has been viewed by detectives working on the investigation.

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 inquiries 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.”

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