Three men have been arrested by detectives investigating the murder of a woman whose body was recovered in a suitcase from the Grand Union Canal, Scotland Yard said.
The suspects, aged 38, 34 and 30, were all arrested on suspicion of murder yesterday evening at separate residential addresses in north-west London.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said that for "strong operational reasons", the arrests were only confirmed today. They remain in custody at north London police stations.
Detectives now believe they know the name of the deceased, although she has yet to be formally identified and her next of kin has not yet been informed.
Despite a post-mortem examination being carried out yesterday, the results were inconclusive and further tests will need to be done.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Ashwin, who is leading the investigation, said he believed the body was placed in the canal at some point in the last two weeks.
He said: "I would like to ask for the help of all those people who use, or live on, the Grand Union Canal.
"We now believe that the body, placed in a black suitcase, was placed in the Grand Union Canal at some point in the last two weeks.
"Whilst the body was recovered near to Little Venice it is highly likely that she entered the water further along the canal.
"Did you see or hear anything suspicious or see a black suitcase in the canal?"
Detectives are carrying out house-to-house inquiries in the local area and obtaining CCTV.
The Metropolitan Police marine policing unit and London Fire Brigade helped recover the suitcase after officers were called to the canal on Sunday by a member of the public.
Sections of the waterfront were sealed off yesterday by forensic teams as officers asked riverside residents if they had seen any discarded suitcase handles.
One man, who gave his name only as Bruce and is staying on a boat near where the body was found, returned just as police arrived.
He said: "I saw policemen in blue overalls looking in the water and more and more police started turning up. It's a bit too close for comfort."
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