UK

Putney Murder Investigation: Neighbour Reports 'Weird Barbecue' Smell After Charred Body Found In Garden

40-year-old man and 34-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of murder.

21/09/2017 21:12 BST
PA Wire/PA Images
Police at the scene in Southfields, southwest London, where a man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a badly burned body was found in a garden.

A neighbour said she smelled a “weird barbecue” in the garden where a badly burned body was found.

The corpse was discovered in the back garden of a house in Southfields, south-west London, on Wednesday afternoon.

A 40-year-old man and 34-year-old woman were arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and were being questioned on Thursday.

They live with two children, according to neighbours.

One woman, 29, said she was passing the street when she saw what she thought was a “weird barbecue” taking place in a back yard.

She said:

“I was going home at about 5.20pm and I smelled this really weird smell. It was like a weird barbecue was going on. I could see this light smoke, it was pretty strange.”

Officers have been unable to tell the age or gender of the person because the remains were so charred. 

The Telegraph reported the body was an “au pair” who worked for the couple who were arrested, who are believed to be French nationals. The newspaper reported the couples two children who have been taken into care by social services.

PA Wire/PA Images

Metropolitan Police were called to a property on Wimbledon Park Road, Putney, just before 6.30pm, after reports that there was a fire and someone had died.

A 40-year-old man and 34-year-old woman were arrested at the scene on suspicion of murder and were being questioned on Thursday.

Police think someone had tried to dispose of the body and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.

Detective Inspector Richard Leonard said:

“We are doing everything we can to identify the deceased. A post-mortem examination will establish how they died. Early indications are that attempts were made to dispose of the body.

“I would like to appeal to those in and around the area to come forward with information. You may well have seen or heard something suspicious in the last few days which could assist our investigators.”

A body bag was removed from the property at around 4.40pm on Thursday and driven away in a private ambulance, while forensics officers continued their work.

Anyone with information can call the police on 0208 721 4843 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.