How Alice sex killer weighed down her naked body

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

HANGED: Zal­ka­lns A LATVIAN builder would have been charged with the mur­der of school­girl Alice Gross had he still been alive.

And his “most likely mo­tive was sex­ual”, a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer con­firmed yes­ter­day.

Det Chief Insp Andy Chalmers from the Metropoli­tan Po­lice said the ev­i­dence “points firmly” to Ar­nis Zal­ka­lns be­ing re­spon­si­ble for the 14-year-old’s ab­duc­tion and death.

Speak­ing at Scot­land Yard’s head­quar­ters, he re­vealed: “We be­lieve the most likely mo­tive was sex­ual.”

Alice was last seen alive walk­ing along a tow path on Au­gust 28 last year and po­lice be­lieve that she was mur­dered by con­victed killer Zal­ka­lns, who was caught on CCTV fol­low­ing her on his bike.

De­spite the big­gest po­lice search since the after­math of the July 7 bomb­ings, it was more than a month be­fore her body was found – weighted down on the bed of the River Brent, near her home in Han­well, west Lon­don.

Zal­ka­lns, 41, who had pre­vi­ously served seven years for the mur­der of his wife Ru­dite in Latvia, was found hanged in nearby Bos­ton Manor Park on Oc­to­ber 4 – four weeks af­ter he was re­ported miss­ing. body was found tied in a foetal po­si­tion, wrapped in bin bags, which had been weighed down with a bike wheel tied with bricks and with six sec­tions of a tree trunk – in a pyra­mid for­ma­tion.

There were no ob­vi­ous in­juries on Alice’s body and the cause of death was as­phyxia – be­lieved to have been caused by a larger body ly­ing on top of her smaller body, Mr Chalmers added.

“It was the same cause of death given for Tia Sharp,” he said.

An iPhone cover was found con­cealed in Zal­ka­lns’s gar­den which has since been iden­ti­fied as be­long­ing to Alice by her sis­ter, the of­fi­cer re­vealed.

He added that there was “no ev­i­dence” that a sex­ual as­sault had taken place.

One of the bags used to con­ceal Alice’s body matched a roll of bags found in Zal­ka­lns’s work­place, po­lice also con­firmed.

Tim Thomp­son, deputy chief Crown pros­e­cu­tor for Lon­don, said: “There is no eye­wit­ness ev­i­dence. The sci­en­tific ev­i­dence does not link Ar­nis Zal­ka­lns di­rectly to Alice death.

“Of all the peo­ple the var­i­ous strands of ev­i­dence might have im­pli­cated, they in fact point to­wards Ar­nis Zal­ka­lns: a per­son who has pre­vi­ously killed, and con­cealed, the body

MUR­DERED: School girl Alice of a young woman.”

CCTV ev­i­dence sug­gested Zal­ka­lns would have passed Alice on the tow­path at about 4.10pm on Au­gust 28, when he stopped for at least 80 min­utes, po­lice said.

When he reap­peared on cam­era, his ap­pear­ance in­di­cated he might have been in the wa­ter.

In a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day, Alice’s fam­ily said: “It re­mains im­pos­si­ble to de­scribe the pain of los­ing Alice.

“Her death has left a hole in our lives that can never be filled.

“Ev­ery day is a re­minder of her life and her loss, and it is hard to imag­ine a fu­ture in which we can find peace and heal­ing.

“Her bru­tal mur­der re­mains shock­ing – an ap­palling sense­less act that is still dif­fi­cult to be­lieve or un­der­stand.”

The fam­ily added: “Al­though we now have cer­tain in­for­ma­tion about how Alice died, we are still left with some se­ri­ous unan­swered ques­tions about what the au­thor­i­ties knew – or should have known – about the man who is be­lieved to have killed our daugh­ter, when he came to the UK.” SHOCK­ING: Bricks tied to a bike wheel which was used to weigh down

Alice’s body

Mr Chalmers said Zal­ka­lns’ part­ner re­mained in the UK and was “clearly tra­mautised” by his ac­tions.

Po­lice re­vealed that Zal­ka­lns had re­turned twice to the area where Alice was last seen and had searched her name on­line as re­ports of her dis­ap­pear­ance emerged.

Fire crews were needed to re­move the tree trunks weigh­ing down Alice’s body, which was naked apart from one sock.

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