Police search Thames for chemical attack suspect's body

By John Mercury February 10, 2024

Police are searching the Thames for the body of chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi.

A boat was seen circling near Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges this morning during low tide.

Detectives now believe Ezedi is dead after CCTV showed him leaning over railings at Chelsea Bridge on the night of the attack.

Ezedi, who went on the run 10 days ago, is believed to have “gone in the water” a few hours after the attack in Clapham.

He’s accused of throwing a strong alkali on his ex-partner and injuring her daughters, aged three and eight, in an attack that left 12 people wounded.

A manhunt had been ongoing after a badly injured Ezedi was caught on CCTV in various locations in London.

Police had warned the public not to approach him – but a behavioural psychologist viewed the footage and it’s thought Ezedi probably took his own life.

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CCTV shows last sighting of Clapham suspect

Ezedi was seen looking over the railings at Chelsea Bridge. Pic: PA
Ezedi was seen looking over the railings at Chelsea Bridge. Pic: PA

The last sighting of the 35-year-old was on Chelsea Bridge just before 11.30pm on the night of the attack.

Commander Jon Savell said Ezedi’s body may never be found due to the strong current.

“At this time of year, the Thames is very fast flowing, very wide and full of lots of snags,” he said.

“It is quite likely that if he has gone in the water, he won’t appear for maybe up to a month and it’s not beyond possibility that he may never actually surface.”

Abdul Ezedi's last known movements on day of attack
Ezedi’s last known movements on the day of attack

(L-R) Previous photo of Abdul Shokoor Ezedi, and an image of the suspect on Wednesday. Pics: Met Police
Pics: Met Police

Policing expert Nick Aldworth told Sky News: “There’s also a lot of infrastructure in the river against which things get caught.. At some point, the body is likely to rise because of natural decomposition and there’s a strong possibility that it will start to get trapped in the various bits and pieces of infrastructure and architecture along the river.

“They will have set specific boundaries.. with the senior investigating officer. And they will initially just search to within those boundaries.”

The injuries suffered by Ezedi’s ex-partner are thought to be “life-changing” and she may lose the sight in one eye.

She remains sedated in hospital but her children have been discharged.

The Met said the breakdown of their relationship could have been the motive for the assault, which happened on a quiet residential street.

Read more from Sky News:
Clapham victim wanted safe home for her children
Investigation after mum found under coat in A&E dies

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What happened in the Clapham attack?

Ezedi was an asylum seeker who arrived in the UK in 2016 and claimed his life would be in danger if he returned to Afghanistan.

He was convicted of two sexual offences in 2018 but was allowed to remain because his crimes were not serious enough to meet the deportation threshold.


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