Family say they are 'completely devastated'
Police have confirmed the body found in the River Brent yesterday is that of 14-year-old Alice Gross.
A post-mortem examination began today (Wednesday, 1 October) at Uxbridge Mortuary, due to the complex nature of this investigation the post-mortem is still ongoing and will resume tomorrow.
Alice's parents Rosalind Hodgkiss and Jose Gross have issued this statement:
'' "We have been left completely devastated by the recent developments and it is difficult to comprehend that our sweet and beautiful daughter was the victim of a terrible crime. Why anyone would want to hurt her is something that we are struggling to come to terms with.
“Alice was a loving and much loved daughter and sister, a quirky live spark of a girl, beautiful inside and out. She was a funny companion, a loyal friend, both passionate and compassionate, and so talented with a bright future ahead of her. She brought so much joy to our family and those who knew her.
“We still don't know who is responsible for this crime and we ask that people continue to help the police by giving them information that could help bring the perpetrator to justice.
“We would like to thank all those that have supported us in our efforts to find Alice, especially the local community; it is comforting to know that so many people care.
"This is a personal and private tragedy and one which we want to be allowed to deal with in that manner, rather than fearing any individual or group will use it to further any political agenda. This is a time for grieving and not a time for anger or recriminations.
"We trust that the press will behave responsibly and not publish any material that might jeopardise any future criminal proceedings.
"We now ask for our privacy to be respected to allow us time to grieve as a family.”
Brentside school issued this statement:
"Our thoughts and sympathy are with Alice’s family at this time.
"Alice was an outstanding and talented student who will be sorely missed from our school community. This is a very sad day for our school and we are devastated by this tragic loss. We are doing everything we can to support each other and will continue to do so in the days and weeks ahead.
"We would like to thank the MPS for their efforts in finding Alice and hope that the perpetrator of this awful crime is brought to justice very soon.
"If anyone has any information that may be of use to the police’s murder inquiry please do come forward.
“To conclude, may I now ask you to respect the privacy of Alice’s family and our school community as we come to terms with this sad news.”
Police say the appeal concerning Arnis Zalkalns, 41, continues and he is still a suspect in this investigation.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts or that can assist the investigation is asked to call the incident room on 0208 358 0100, the police non-emergency line 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
October 1, 2014