Murder Investigation After Body Found in River Brent

Family of Alice Gross have been informed

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Police investigating the disappearance of 14-year-old Alice Gross have found a body in the River Brent.

The body has been removed from the scene. Alice's family has been updated of this development.

In a statement this morning (Wed 1st Oct) Commander Graham McNulty said:

'' We are unable to make a formal identification at this stage, but clearly this news is devastating for everyone involved in the search for Alice.

''At this time my thoughts are with Alice's family and friends. I would ask you to respect their privacy and allow them space.

''This is now a murder investigation and I need the public's help to find whoever is responsible. I would urge anyone who may know something to come forward.

''Even if you have not yet spoken out it is not too late to tell us what you know.

''I would like to thank the local community of Ealing who have shown huge support and patience during the course of our investigation.

''This discovery will have a significant impact throughout the borough. You only need to walk around the surrounding streets to see the effect that Alice's disappearance has had on the whole community.

''Our work at this scene is crucial to ensure we capture all the available evidence allowing us to identify who is responsible for this dreadful crime.

''This may take some time, and I ask people to remain patient with us. I can confirm that significant efforts were made to conceal the body.

''At this point I do not wish to speculate any further on what has happened. Finally, I would like to reiterate my request that Alice's family and friends are given the time to come to terms with this news.

''My thoughts, and those of all of us in the Metropolitan Police, are with them at this difficult time.''

Formal identification awaits and a post mortem examination will be scheduled in due course.

Divers have been searching throughout the area of Hanwell and the Grand Union Canal since the teenager's disappearance on 28th August.

CCTV showed that Alice walked along the towpath on the afternoon of the day she disappeared Her purple rucksack, which she was pictured carrying was found by the canal on Tuesday 2nd September.

Police divers search canal

Police divers search canal

A huge campaign has been underway to find the talented Brentside student - many local residents from Hanwell and Ealing have been involved conducting poster and social media appeals.

Her mother revealed the teenager had recently been diagnosed with anorexia and her family made emotional pleas for her to return home.

Police say the appeal concerning Arnis Zalkalns, 41, continues and he is still a suspect in this investigation.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts or that can assist the investigation is asked to call the incident room on 0208 358 0100, the police non-emergency line 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

October 1, 2014