Detectives investigating the disappearance of Justin Henry have found a body.
If confirmed, it will be the 10th murder case in Croydon in 2023.
Late on Monday, officers located a Red Nissan Almera in the residents’ car park of Nicholas Court, off Dale Road, Purley.
Locals were told to stay in their homes through Tuesday, as a detailed examination of the vehicle and the area was carried out.
“In order to preserve possible evidence, the car was treated as a crime scene. This was forensically examined and a body recovered from the boot of the vehicle the next day,” Scotland Yard said.
No formal cause of death was established in a post mortem and further tests will be carried out. Officers are working to carry out a formal identification.
Justin Henry’s family have been kept informed of the developments, the Met said.
The police have made three arrests in connection with Henry’s disappearance and suspected murder.
Jamal Ali-Richards, 28, thought to be from Thornton Heath, and Louis Benjamin, 29, from Waddon New Road, have both been charged with murder.
On October 18 the police arrested an unnamed 27-year-old woman on suspicion of kidnapping. She has been bailed until January.
Justin Henry, 34, was reported missing to police on Monday, October 16.
He was last seen in person on the evening of Sunday, October 15, at his partner’s address in Brixton. He was sighted on the CCTV of the McDonald’s drive-thru on London Road, Norbury at 9.50pm that evening.
“Enquiries have led officers to believe Justin drove from that restaurant to nearby Waddon New Road where his vehicle, a silver Mercedes E Class, remained for approximately two-and-a-half hours.”
The Mercedes was later located on Monday, October 16, in Kingswood Drive, Gipsy Hill.
Speaking after the discovery of a body in Purley, Detective Chief Inspector Matt Webb, of the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: “Due to the need to preserve forensic evidence, officers conducted a careful and methodical examination of the scene. However, on Tuesday, we confirmed that a body was in the car and we spoke to Justin’s family later that day.
“We are waiting to formally confirm the identity of the body.
“My heart goes out to his family who have suffered weeks of anxiously waiting for news. Justin’s family are understandably very upset and we would ask media to respect their privacy at this very difficult time.
“While we have charged two people with Justin’s murder, we would still like anyone who has any information of the red Nissan’s movements in the days following Justin’s disappearance to call police – we still need and ask for the public’s help.”
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