Alice Gross murder suspect 'would have been charged'

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Alice Gross murder suspect 'would have been charged'

The main suspect in the investigation into the murder of 14-year-old Alice Gross would have been charged, Scotland Yard said today.

The Met told the Crown Prosecution Service it is satisfied all the evidence points to 41-year-old Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns. 

New CCTV footage and photographs were also released today showing Zalkans buying beer and cigarettes in a corner shop at 7.35pm on August 28 last year, the same day Alice went missing.

He is also seen in another CCTV image taken on September 4 at a shop in West Acton.

 

The body of Alice was found in the River Brent in west London on September 30, weighed down by a bicycle wheel heavy with bricks. 

Latvian builder Zalkalns was found fewer than two miles away in Boston Manor Park on October 4. He was found hanged. 

Officers also released an image of the shattered case of her mobile phone, which was found concealed under Zalkans' patio.

Detectives said they believe the convicted killer murdered Alice after chancing on her as he cycled along the Grand Union Canal near her home in Hanwell.

A post mortem found the school girl has been crushed to death and died from compression of the chest caused by the weight of a heavier body.

Detectives say they believe the motive for the random attack was sexual though they had no evidence she had been assaulted.

Scotland Yard announced today that a file had been sent to the Crown Prosecution Service and the CPS had ruled there was sufficient evidence to charge Zalkans for murder if he was alive today.

Tim Thompson, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London said: “It is not for the CPS to say whether or not Arnis Zalkalns killed Alice Gross – that would have been for a jury to decide.

“I have concluded that the evidence now available would have been sufficient to give rise to a realistic prospect of conviction for murder, applying the Full Code Test in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.”

The disappearance of the schoolgirl after she left home to meet friends on August 28 sparked the biggest Met police search since the 7/7 bombings.

Police said that Zalkans emerged as a prime suspect after Interpol revealed that he had been convicted for the murder of his wife in his native Latvia in 1998.

He arrived in the UK in 2007 after serving seven years in jail and in 2009 was arrested for the indecent assault of another 14 year old in Boston Manor.

London Live’s Dan Freedman reported live from Scotland Yard on what had been said so far.

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