UK

Alice Gross Police Find Body In Search For Suspect Arnis Zalkalns

04/10/2014 17:31 BST | Updated 04/10/2014 21:59 BST

A "badly decomposed" body found by police investigating the murder of Alice Gross, may be that of prime suspect Arnis Zalkalns,

The body of a man was found in dense woodland in Boston Manor Park in west London, and "early indications" say it could be Zalkalns, though it has yet to be formally identified.

Alice, 14, from Hanwell, west London, went missing on August 28 and police confirmed on Wednesday that her body had been recovered from the River Brent in west London, near where she was last seen.

alice gross

Alice Gross's body was found earlier this week five weeks after she disappeared

Zalkalns had been spotted following Alice along a canal towpath.

The 41-year-old convicted killer has been missing since September 3.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "Due to the nature of the surrounding area, specialist resources will be required to assist with the recovery of the body which will not take place until tomorrow.

"Although Arnis Zalkalns had been identified as a suspect in the Alice Gross murder investigation, enquiries continue to establish the full circumstances surrounding this crime."

Boston Manor Park has a children's playground, nature trail, sports activities and a cafe, according to the Friends of Boston Manor website.

SEE ALSO:

Alice was last seen on CCTV walking along the towpath beside the Grand Union Canal near her home on the afternoon of August 28.

Nearly three weeks later investigators realised that Zalkalns, who was reported missing by his family on September 5, had been cycling behind her.

He served seven years in prison in his native country of Latvia for bludgeoning and stabbing his wife Rudite to death.

The labourer, who worked at a building site in Isleworth, west London, is believed to have come to the UK in 2007, but authorities here are thought to have had no record of his murder conviction.

Alice's disappearance prompted an outpouring of support in her local community, where yellow ribbons and bows still adorn the streets.

David Cameron has said he will examine "all the circumstances of the case" surrounding the murder of Alice, whose body was recovered on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister has described it as a "horrific case", and said: "Anyone with a daughter will have just felt sickened by what has happened and what that poor family has had to go through."

He continued: "I will look at all the circumstances of the case: what lessons there are to learn, whether that is about exchanging information or whether that's about the importance of keeping our country safe. I am going to look at that and I will come back to you."

alice gross suspect

Police had feared Arnis Zalkalns had fled the country

Mr Cameron's words came after it was revealed that further tests will be carried out on Alice's body after a post-mortem examination proved inconclusive.

The post-mortem at Uxbridge mortuary took two days due to the "complex nature" of the investigation, Scotland Yard said.

In a statement, police said: "No cause of death has been given at this time and further tests are required."

Hundreds of messages were added to a book of condolence set up in Ealing town hall. He said people "queued out the door" at one stage as they waited patiently in line to pay their respects.

The book will eventually be passed on to Alice's family, while flags in the area were also flown at half-mast as a mark of respect.

The Metropolitan Police have come under fire for delays in identifying Zalkalns as a suspect, and were not able to apply for a European Arrest Warrant due to lack of evidence.