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Police searching Thames have recovered over 320 bodies since 2012, data shows

Police searching Thames have recovered over 320 bodies since 2012, data shows

Around 324 bodies have been recovered from the Thames in the past 12 years, it emerged on Monday, as police resumed their search for chemical attack suspect Abdul Ezedi.

Last year, the Marine Policing Unit found the remains of 45 people, the highest number in recent years.

Two male bodies were unexpectedly found in the river on Saturday morning, but neither are Ezedi, 35.

The first was discovered at 10.13am near to HMS Belfast and another 26 minutes later in Limehouse, the Metropolitan Police said.

Both deaths are being treated by the force as “unexpected pending further enquiries” with reports of recent missing people being checked.

According to the Met, the 45 recovered in 2023 are among complex enquiries carried out by the specialist marine team.

They included 1,965 calls, attending 956 threats of suicide and rescuing 167 people from the fast-flowing river.

There were 23 bodies recovered in each of the years 2022 and 2021.

In 2020, it was 20; 2019 – 27; 2018 – 26; 2017 – 30; 2016 – 28; 2015 – 38; 2014 – 21; 2013 – 28; and 2012 – 15.

Detectives believe Ezedi may have gone into the river on the night a mother, 31, and her two daughters aged three and eight were doused with a corrosive alkali substance in Clapham, south London.

He was seen on CCTV leaning over the railings of Chelsea Bridge in west London on January 31.

Officers were expected to scour the area under the bridge again on Monday.

Newcastle search for Abdul Ezedi (ES Composite)
Newcastle search for Abdul Ezedi (ES Composite)

A police boat was seen circling between Vauxhall and Chelsea bridges at the weekend.

On Friday, the force said its main working hypothesis was Ezedi had “gone into” the river but his body may never be found due to the speed of the current.

The breakdown of Ezedi’s relationship with the woman is considered a possible motive.

Commander Jon Savell confirmed she remains in a “critical but stable condition” in hospital and was still “very poorly and unable to speak” to police.

The UK-wide manhunt to find Ezedi was under way for more than a week, with officers raiding two addresses linked to him in Newcastle in the early hours of Thursday.

Ezedi, who is not the father of the children who were hurt, suffered significant facial injuries in the incident which police previously said could prove fatal if left untreated.

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