'Two high-pitched screams' heard by neighbours after woman found stabbed at home yards from Hyde Park

9 April 2024, 14:07 | Updated: 9 April 2024, 14:43

Police at the scene at the property on Stanhope Place near Hyde Park
Police at the scene at the property on Stanhope Place near Hyde Park. Picture: LBC
Jasmine Moody

By Jasmine Moody

Neighbours of a woman who was found stabbed to death in her home near London's Marble Arch say they heard 'two high-pitched screams' a day before police found her body.

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A murder investigation is under way after a woman was found stabbed to death at a central London property near Hyde Park on Monday April 8.

Police said the victim was found with multiple knife wounds at her property on Stanhope Place, W2.

Now, a neighbour, who has lived on the street for over half a century, said she can remember hearing screams.

"I recall two," she said, adding: "I’m very sensitive to sound. They were very unusual.

"There was no other sound other than the screams, then silence after," she told the MailOnline.

Read more: Murder hunt after woman found dead with multiple stab wounds at central London home yards from Hyde Park

The woman was found dead in what is believed to be the former residence of the Ethiopian ambassador to the UK.

A spokesperson at the Ethiopian Embassy in London confirmed to LBC that they left the property on Stanhope Place, which they were renting, four years ago.

LBC can reveal two separate calls were made to police by friends of the woman, raising concerns about her welfare.

It took officers more than 12 hours to respond to them, though, as they classified her as a medium risk missing person.

The first call was made at 7.05pm on Sunday and a second at 9.34pm.

Officers forced their way into her house near Marble Arch at 8.30am the next day where they found her dead, with multiple stab wounds.

Scotland Yard says its internal Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and the force will now refer itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct – as is mandatory – to investigate their handling of the calls made by the woman’s friends.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: "Police received two calls from the same person on Sunday, 7 April raising concerns for the welfare of the woman – one at 19:05hrs and one at 21:34hrs.

"The woman was initially graded as a medium risk missing person prior to the discovery of her body.

"The Met's Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and a mandatory referral will be made to the IOPC in relation to the initial contact from the woman's friends."

Police at the scene where the woman was found dead with multiple stab wounds
Police at the scene where the woman was found dead with multiple stab wounds. Picture: LBC

Officers were called on Sunday by the woman’s friends who reported they were concerned for her.

Police attended her home on Stanhope Place at 8.30am on Monday April 8. They forced their way into the property and found the woman dead.

They said she had suffered "a number of stab injuries."

Police are working to inform her next of kin. No arrests have been made at this time.

It is now understood that the property is the former home of an Ethiopian ambassador.

Neighbours report seeing a woman by the property recently.

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Detective Chief Inspector Adam Clifton from the Met's Specialist Crime Command leads the investigation and said: "I understand this news will be concerning, and that local women especially may be worried.

Police said the victim suffered “a number of stab injuries"
Police said the victim suffered “a number of stab injuries". Picture: LBC

"Our enquiries are in the very early stages and we are keeping an open mind as to the motive, however I can assure people that my team are working 24/7 to establish what happened to the woman, and to identify and arrest whoever may be responsible for this attack.

"My officers now need support and information from the public. I want to ask local people to check doorbell cameras, and for drivers in the area to think about whether they've seen anything unusual that might have been captured on dash cam. Did you notice any unusual activity at the address? If you did then it is imperative that we hear from you."

Chief Superintendent Louise Puddefoot, lead for policing in Westminster, said: "Our thoughts are with the woman and her family. My officers will do everything we can to support the investigation and they will be stationed in the area to speak to anyone who has any information or concerns they want to share with us."

Anyone with information should call 101 or ‘X’ @MetCC ref CAD 6784/7 Apr or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.