How Alice sex killer weighed down her naked body
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
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.