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Clapham chemical attack – latest: Two bodies found in search for suspect Ezedi as officers return to Thames

Two bodies, unrelated to Ezedi, were found on Saturday morning as the force began searching the River Thames

Jane Dalton,Athena Stavrou
Sunday 11 February 2024 22:00 GMT
Clapham attack suspect may have ‘gone into’ River Thames

Police are searching the River Thames for the man suspected of carrying out the Clapham chemical attack after two bodies were found in the water.

A police boat circled between Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges on Saturday morning, one day after the Metropolitan Police revealed their belief that Abdul Ezedi, 35, may have jumped or fallen from Chelsea Bridge.

A body was recovered near HMS Belfast just after 10am and another was found around 30 minutes later along the river in Limehouse.

The force said neither of the discoveries are linked to Ezedi and the search efforts resumed at around 10am on Sunday.

Ezedi was last seen on CCTV pacing up and down Chelsea Bridge and leaning over the railings four hours after the attack on January 31.

Detectives say his death is the “most probable outcome”, but officers warned it may take months for a body to be recovered – or it may never be found.

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Police resume search in Thames

Police resumed their search for Abdul Ezedi in the River Thames on Sunday morning as officers believe he fell into the water from Chelsea Bridge.

Search boats were first spotted between Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges on Saturday morning. A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police confirmed boats would be back on the river at 10am on Sunday.

Ezedi was last seen on CCTV pacing up and down Chelsea Bridge and leaning over the railings four hours after the attack on January 31.

Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 10:10
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Two bodies found in Thames

Two bodies were found in the River Thames yesterday as the search for Abdul Ezedi in the water continues.

One body was recovered near HMS Belfast just after 10am and another was found around 30 minutes later along the river in Limehouse.

Officers said neither discoveries are linked to Ezedi and the force is working to confirm the identities of the bodies and inform next of kin.

Both deaths are being treated as unexpected.

Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 09:09
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Former detective explains police underwater search for chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi

Former Metropolitan Police detective Nick Aldworth has revealed what the force’s underwater search for chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi involves.

He said that it is likely a body would sink once it hit the water and eventually be caught in infrastructure situated along the river.

Detectives now believe Ezedi is dead after CCTV showed him learning over railings at Chelsea Bridge on the night of the attack on 31 January.

Ezedi, who went on the run 10 days ago, is believed to have “gone in the water” a few hours after the attack in Clapham.

Police underwater search teams were searching the River Thames on Saturday and Sunday, but have not yet found Ezedi.

Former detective explains police underwater search for chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi
Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 22:00
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Watch: Police boats search Thames near Chelsea Bridge for alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi

Police boats search Thames near Chelsea Bridge for alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi
Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 21:00
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Search of Thames continues

Police have resumed their search of an area of the River Thames in central London for alkali attack suspect Abdul Ezedi.

Marine police teams have been searching around the Chelsea Bridge area on Sunday after the search began on Saturday, with a police boat seen circling between Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges.

The bodies of two men were found in the river on Saturday – but neither are that of Abdul Ezedi.

One body was found at 10.13am on Saturday near to HMS Belfast and another at 10.39am in Limehouse the same morning. Both deaths are being treated by the force as “unexpected pending further enquiries”.

It is understood the bodies were not found as a direct result of the search operation.

The force said on Friday its main working hypothesis was the 35-year-old had “gone into” the Thames. However, police admit that Ezedi’s body may never be found due to the speed of the current in the river.

Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 20:00
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Police in touch with Ezedi’s family

Police are in contact with a member of Abdul Ezedi’s family to break the news to them that they believe he drowned.

Commander Jon Savell said at a news briefing on Friday: “We have updated Ezedi’s family this afternoon with these latest developments and they are being supported by a specialist family liaison officer.

“Notwithstanding the horrific crime Ezedi committed, his family undoubtedly will be struggling to come to terms with the events of the last week and this latest development.

“Obviously, that will be shocking news for them and they will I imagine be naturally very anxious about what Ezedi is alleged to have done and what may have happened to him.”

Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 19:00
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Fugitive Abdul Ezedi walked past Scotland Yard hours after allegedly throwing chemical

The suspect in a chemical attack that left a mother fighting for life appears to have walked right past New Scotland Yard hours later.

Based on CCTV movements released by the force, Abdul Ezedi walked beside the River Thames on a route that looks to have taken him within yards of the Met’s headquarters on the Embankment in central London.

A major manhunt is still underway for the fugitive, with the police now searching in the River Thames for the second day after the last CCTV footage of him shows Ezedi pacing up and down Chelsea Bridge at 11:30pm.

Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 18:00
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Ezedi’s ‘demeanour’ changed moments before last sighting

The Metropolitan Police said Clapham chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi’s “demeanour” appeared to change as he walked over Chelsea Bridge.

In a briefing at Scotland Yard, Commander Jon Savell said: “When he gets to Chelsea Bridge, his demeanour appears to change.

“I would describe him previously as walking sort of purposefully, as if he knew where he was going and he was walking at a reasonable pace.

“As he gets onto Chelsea Bridge, he does cross the bridge more than once.

“And then when he gets back to the centre, he appears to be moving from the railings back to the pavement and looking over the edge of the railings.

“So a distinct change in how he’s been moving about.”

The force searched a stretch of the River Thames near the bridge for the second time today in search boats.

Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 17:15
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What relationships does Ezedi have to the victims?

Police confirmed Ezedi was in a relationship with the 31-year-old victim and speculated the attack might have been motivated by a breakdown in their relationship.

He is not the father of the children in the attack and was in the capital visiting the mother, police believe. Friends of the victim described her as a “devoted and loving mother”.

Close friends of the victim, who have launched a fundraiser for the family, said: “Our friend is first and foremost a devoted and loving mother.

“Her children are her life. She is generous to a fault and a wonderful cook and host. All she has ever wanted is a safe home for her and her beautiful, kind little girls.”

Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 16:30
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What is Abdul Ezedi suspected of?

Abdul Ezedi, from the Newcastle area, is accused of pouring a strong alkali on his ex-partner, and injuring her two young children, aged three and eight, on Wednesday January 31 in Clapham.

The breakdown of the relationship is considered a possible motive for the attack.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed the woman, who has not been identified, remained in a “critical but stable condition” in hospital and was still “very poorly and unable to speak” to police.

Ezedi, who is not the father of the children who were hurt, suffered significant facial injuries in the incident which police previously said could prove fatal if left untreated.

Athena Stavrou11 February 2024 15:45

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