And police are anxious to trace a missing Latvian man from Ealing
Detectives investigating the disappearance of 14-year-old Alice Gross have asked for the public to help tracing a Latvian builder who is reported missing from Ealing.
Arnis Zalkalns, 41-year-old, was last seen at home in Ealing during the evening of Wednesday, 3 September. Mr Zalkalns is white, 5ft 10ins, stocky build with dark brown hair, and he normally wears it tied in a pony tail.
Today (Wednesday 17/09) officers have been routinely searching his home in W5 which he shares with partner and child in the hope of gaining more clues as to where he could be.
His partner, Katerina Laiblova, told the Evening Standard she had no idea where he had gone and that he hadn't used his bank account since he went missing.
She said: ''He loves his family and we just want him back. He is a very loving man. There does not seem to be much progress on finding him yet but the police are trying." ''
Police have said there is no evidence to suggest to suggest that Arnis and Alice knew each other.
They said the builder travels to work along a similar route taken by Alice on August 28th.
It is believed he left home early on Thursday, 4 September - he would normally meet a friend at approximately 0800hrs so that they could cycle to work together but Arnis failed to turn up on that morning.
His normal route would take him along the Grand Union Canal and he rides a red Trek Mountain Bike. He was reported missing to police on Friday, 5 September.
Detective Superintendent Carl Mehta, from the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said:
"It is completely out of character for Arnis to go missing. His family is very worried about him. I am asking for anyone who has seen him, or knows where he is to get in touch.
"Given the time that Arnis was last seen, and that he travels to work along a similar route to the one we know Alice took on the 28 August I am really keen to speak to him. At this stage, we simply want to speak to him, as he may well have important information that can help our search for Alice.
"I would stress that based on what we know now there is no evidence to suggest that Arnis and Alice knew each other. This continues to be a fast moving investigation, and this is one of a number of lines of enquiry that we are urgently looking into."
The police used last night's (Tuesday 16th) BBC Crimewatch appeal to ask for the public’s help.
Detective Chief Inspector Andy Chalmers used CCTV images to show Alice’s last known movements on Thursday, 28 August, between 1pm when she left home and 4.26pm when she walked along Trumpers Way, towards Hanwell. Despite numerous public appeals as yet detectives have no confirmed sightings of Alice after 4.26pm that day.
Alice is white, 5ft 2 ins tall and of very slim build with shoulder-length, light brown hair. When she left home that day she was wearing dark blue jeans and a grey top, and tartan framed glasses. She was carrying a dark rucksack, and wearing denim blue ‘Vans’ shoes, these shoes were in her rucksack when it was found by police on 2 September.
Detective Chief Inspector Chalmers said: “Over two weeks ago now Alice left home, just as normal, and went for a walk. She has not been seen since.
“The response so far from the public has been great, but as yet we have no confirmed sightings of Alice after 1630hrs that day.
“I am really keen to trace Alice’s phone, which I know has not been used since late afternoon on the day she was last seen. It is white iPhone 4S, with distinctive cracked rear case that Alice had decorated with marker pen. If you saw, or currently have Alice’s phone please get in touch.
“A couple have come forward to tell us that they saw Alice’s bag on the evening of Thursday, 28 August, at about 2015hrs, on the footpath that runs besides the River Brent between Hanwell Bridge and the Grand Union Canal. They didn’t move the bag or look inside it. The bag was seen close to where the builders saw it on the following day but the bag was on the path rather than in the undergrowth. So I’m continuing to ask for anyone else who may have seen Alice’s rucksack between this time and when officers found it on 2 September.
“Alice’s family are devastated. They think about her constantly. If you have any information that can help us bring Alice back to her family, no matter how small or trivial it may seem to you, please call us.”
Alice's Mother's Appeal on BBC Crimewatch
Meanwhile a man arrested and later bailed by detectives investigating the disappearance of the teenager has today (Tuesday, 16 September) been released with no further action. The 25-year old man was arrested on Saturday, 6 September on suspicion of murder.
A 51-year-old man who was arrested by officers in Hanwell on Sunday, 7 September was released with no further action on Monday, 8 September.
All lines of enquiry are still open and this remains a missing person investigation at this stage. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the investigation team on 020 8358 0100, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact 020 8353 0100, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
16th September 2014