Specialist police unit begins search of River Thames in hunt for Clapham attack suspect Abdul Ezedi

10 February 2024, 08:02 | Updated: 10 February 2024, 13:23

Police have said it is 'quite likely' suspect Ezedi has gone into the River Thames.
Police have said it is 'quite likely' suspect Ezedi has gone into the River Thames. Picture: Alamy/Met Police

By Emma Soteriou

A specialist police unit has begun a search of the River Thames in the hunt for Clapham attack suspect Abdul Ezedi.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

It comes after police said they believed Ezedi may have thrown himself off Chelsea Bridge and drowned in the Thames.

A Marine Policing Unit is now carrying out searches in the area, with a boat seen circling between Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges on Saturday morning.

Officers have been chasing the 35-year-old Afghan asylum seeker since Wednesday, January 31, after he doused a mother and her two daughters in a chemical.

Ezedi is now thought to have “gone into the water” and is probably dead after he was last seen on Chelsea Bridge at 11.27pm on the night of the attack last week, according to Met police.

Read more: Hard work should be rewarded with tax cuts, says Rishi Sunak as he vows to fight back against Tory rebels

Read more: Kate Middleton 'on the mend' as she leaves Windsor for first time since operation 'to visit King Charles' with children

Members of the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit near to Chelsea Bridge
Members of the Metropolitan Police Marine Policing Unit near to Chelsea Bridge. Picture: Alamy

In a briefing at Scotland Yard, Commander Jon Savell said: "We have spent the last 24 hours meticulously following the CCTV, and it's our main working hypothesis that he's now gone into the water.

"We have looked at all of the available cameras and angles, and with the assistance of Transport for London and CCTV from buses that were travelling over the bridge at the relevant time and there is no sighting of him coming off the bridge."

There is no other CCTV footage of the suspect following his last sighting on the bridge and officers do not believe he has been in contact with anybody else, the force confirmed.

A behavioural psychologist commissioned by the police assessed the footage, who said they believe Ezedi could have killed himself.

Police believe Clapham chemical suspect Abdul Ezedi threw himself into the River Thames

The force said Ezedi may “never” surface if he has gone into the river.

Commander Jon Savell said: "At this time of year, the Thames is very fast flowing, very wide and full of lots of snags.

"It is quite likely that if he has gone in the water, he won't appear for maybe up to a month and it's not beyond possibility that he may never actually surface."

Ezedi “walked with purpose” before walking across the bridge and then “his behaviour visibly” changed, the force added.

"He walks up and down and can be seen leaning over the railings," said a Met spokesman.

Commander Jon Savell said if the suspect did not go into the water, officers would have been confident in finding him.

It comes after officers from the Metropolitan and Northumbria police services executed warrants at addresses associated with the suspect, including his place of work, in the north Tyneside area, the forces announced on Thursday.

Ezedi was last sighted on Chelsea Bridge on the evening of the attack.
Ezedi was last sighted on Chelsea Bridge on the evening of the attack. Picture: PA

Ezedi, from the Newcastle area, allegedly poured a strong alkali on his ex-partner, and her two young children, aged three and eight, on Wednesday January 31 in Clapham, south London.

The woman, who may lose sight in her right eye after being doused with the corrosive liquid, had been in a relationship with Ezedi.

She remains sedated in hospital and is still too ill to speak to police, the force previously confirmed.

Ezedi suffered significant facial injuries in the incident which police previously said could prove fatal if left untreated.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Prince Harry

Al Qaeda 'called for Prince Harry to be killed,' court filing says, as he loses challenge over taxpayer funded protection

French authorities are said to be handling the situation.

Bodies of three suspected migrants found in Channel as urgent search and rescue operation launched

This super speedy acceleration makes "not an especially nice noise", with the journalist saying it is "bowel loosening".

Jeremy Clarkson brands supercars 'too difficult' after driving new £308k vehicle

Aerial view of mansions still standing along a cliff after a portion of the cliffside (L) tumbled to the Pacific Ocean following days of heavy rains earlier this month on February 27, 2024 in Dana Point, California

Multi-million dollar mansions left teetering on cliff edge after landslides, but authorities say there's 'no threat'

Christian Horner has been cleared of inappropriate behaviour

Red Bull F1 boss Christian Horner cleared of inappropriate behaviour as 'grievance dismissed' after investigation

Joe Biden

Joe Biden set for his annual physical examination

Black audience-only performances, also known as Black Outs, aim to get Black people into the theatre - an otherwise white-dominated space.

West End play criticised over 'Black Out' performances, which protects theatre goers from 'the white gaze'

Nigeria Shell Sale

Activists urge Nigeria to delay Shell’s £1.89bn sale of assets in Niger Delta

Christian Horner

Geri Halliwell's husband Christian Horner set to be cleared of misconduct after 'inappropriate behaviour' allegations

Five people died when the Titan submersible suffered a 'catastrophic implosion'

Mystery banging noises that sparked hope in desperate search for missing Titan submersible released for first time

Emma Caldwell was killed in 2005 and her body was found in woods 40 miles from Glasgow

Predator to spend life behind bars after strangling woman to death and dumping her naked body in woods

Former Miner Steve Fergus (left) and Easington Colliery's Front Street, 40 years on from the miners' strike (right)

Miners' strike 40 years on: East Durham pit workers accuse successive governments of 'levelling down, not up'

Ja Rule has been blocked from entering the UK

Rapper Ja Rule 'told he can't enter UK' ahead of British concerts because of his criminal record

The Pope leaves hospital

Pope taken to hospital in Rome following weekly audience

Mr Khan has been threatened by both far-right and Islamist extremists, the source also claims.

Sadiq Khan 'facing death threats from Islamists and needs round-the-clock police protection'

The Pantex complex

Wildfires prompt shutdown of nuclear weapons facility in Texas