Mutilated body of boy, 5, found in Thames

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The Independent Online

The body of a five-year-old boy has been found floating in the river Thames with his limbs and head hacked off.

The body is believed to have been in the water for up to 10 days, police said.

Detective Superintendent Adrian Maybanks said the body of the boy, of Afro-Caribbean descent, was spotted by a person crossing Tower Bridge on Friday afternoon. A police launch recovered the body and a search of the river and shoreline for other body parts was continuing yesterday.

Detectives said they were going through missing person files to try to discover the boy's identity. He was wearing only orange shorts, labelled Kids and Company, with German washing instructions printed inside.

Detectives are contacting their counterparts in Germany for help to trace the source of the clothing. A few outlets in Britain also sell the shorts.

Det Supt Maybanks said: "The child died a very violent death. It's very tragic and traumatic." He said the body could have been thrown into the river at any point from Teddington Lock in the west to the Thames estuary in the east.