Police hunting Clapham chemical attacker Abdul Ezedi find body in Thames near Tower of London after three week search

20 February 2024, 11:40 | Updated: 20 February 2024, 13:39

A body has been recovered from the Thames linked to the Clapham attack.
A body has been recovered from the Thames linked to the Clapham attack. Picture: Met Police/LBC

By Emma Soteriou

Police hunting Clapham attacker Abdul Ezedi have pulled a body from the Thames near the Tower of London.

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The body was discovered at around 4pm on February 19 in the water at Tower Pier.

It was recovered by the Met’s Marine Policing Unit and has been viewed by detectives.

Based on his clothing and property found on his body, police "strongly believe" it is Ezedi.

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

He was thought to have “gone into the water” after he was last seen on Chelsea Bridge at 11.27pm on the night of the attack.

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

Read more: Clapham attack suspect Abdul Ezedi jumped off a bridge into the River Thames and drowned, police believe

Ezedi's movements across London
Ezedi's movements across London. Picture: LBC

Officers from the specialist police unit carried out a number of low tide searches in the area surrounding Chelsea Bridge over the weekend of February 10 and 11.

They continued daily searches of the river before recovering the body on Monday.

Nearby workers told LBC that the pier was temporarily closed and boats with blue lights were seen in the water.

Police are continuing to investigate the attack but there have been no more arrests.

The condition of the woman injured in the chemical attack has since improved. She remains in hospital but is in stable condition, police said.

Officers have still not been able to speak to her but intend to once she has had more time to recover.

Police said it was 'quite likely' Ezedi has gone into the River Thames.
Police said it was 'quite likely' Ezedi has gone into the River Thames. Picture: Met Police

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.

The body was found in the water near the Tower of London
The body was found in the water near the Tower of London. Picture: LBC

"Our enquiries 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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