The search for English teenager Alice Gross has now officially become a murder investigation, after a body was recovered from the River Brent in London.
The body was discovered late last night and police believe that “significant efforts” had been made to conceal its whereabouts. Alice’s family have been informed of the tragic development.
Police Commander Graham McNulty explained the situation in a statement this morning. “Clearly this news is devastating for everyone involved in the search for Alice,” he said.
"This is now a murder investigation and I need the public's help to find whoever is responsible.”
He added that “formal identification [of the body] awaits and a post-mortem examination will be scheduled in due course.”
14-year-old Alice went missing a month ago. She was last seen on CCTV walking along the Grand Union canal – which is connected to the river where her body was found last night.
The prime suspect at this time is previously convicted murderer Arnis Zalkalns, who was captured by the same CCTV cameras just ten minutes later. He has not been seen since Alice’s disappearance.
In an emotional plea last week, Alice’s mother Rosalind Hodgkiss said she hoped her daughter would be found safe and well. “We're missing everything about her. We miss her smile, her presence, her quirkiness, every single thing about her we miss, and we want her back home where she belongs.”