Image above: CCTV image of Abdul Ezedi
Two ‘unexpected’ bodies found in search
Chiswick’s RNLI’s Lifeboat station is taking part in the extensive search for Abdul Ezedi, the 35-year-old Clapham chemical attack suspect believed to have gone into the River Thames at Chelsea Bridge. The lifeboat crew, alongside multiple vessels from the Marine Policing Unit, have been searching the river foreshore downstream from where he is believed to have jumped in.
Ezedi has been subject to a nationwide manhunt after he was seen assaulting a woman and two children with a toxic substance. Investigations revealed that Ezedi was last seen on CCTV footage on 31 January, four hours after the reported attack, as he approached Chelsea Bridge. Despite exhaustive efforts, his whereabouts remain unknown.
Two ‘unexpected’ bodies have been found in separate locations during the search, one near HMS Belfast, adjacent to Tower Bridge, and another in the Limehouse area of east London. Neither of these bodies has been identified as Ezedi.
The emergency services face quite a challenge, as the swift currents at this time of the year raise the possibility that Ezedi’s remains may never be recovered, if they are snagged on the riverbed.
Ezedi, a convicted sex offender who sought asylum in the UK after fleeing Afghanistan and converting to Christianity, had a prior relationship with the woman he allegedly attacked in Clapham the previous month.
While she continues to receive treatment in hospital, there are fears that she may permanently lose vision in one eye, though the children involved are expected to fully recover from their physical injuries.
Last seen footage of Ezedi was on Chelsea Bridge
The Met’s Commander Jon Savell said:
“We have looked at all of the available cameras and angles, and with the assistance of Transport for London and CCTV from buses that were travelling over the bridge at the relevant time, and there is no sighting of him coming off the bridge.”
Detective Superintendent Rick Sewart added:
“When he got to the area of Chelsea Bridge, his behaviour visibly appeared to change in so much as he walked up and down the bridge, he pauses in the mid-point of the bridge, and he walks sort of to and from the side of the bridge and can be seen to lean over the railings before there is a loss of sight.”