Man charged with murder after body found in Bow Creek at Canning Town Bridge
PUBLISHED: 13:20 01 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:20 01 December 2015
A man has appeared in court today charged with the murder of a homeless rough sleeper in east London whose body was discovered in the Bow Creek.
A woman on her way to work walking across the A13 Canning Town Bridge raised the alarm after spotting the body in a sleeping bag as the morning tide was receding at 7.25am last Wednesday.
Police cordoned off the Lea riverbank at Poplar and Canning Town as detectives launched a murder hunt when they discovered head injuries on the victim.
“The body in the river became exposed as the tide went out,” Detective Chief Insp Ken Hughes said.
“He was still in his sleeping bag, but we don’t know how he ended up in the water—we need to trace witnesses to find out what happened.”
The dead man was a 21-year-old Lithuanian who is thought to have been sleeping rough for several months at a makeshift campsite under the bridge on the banks of the Lea River.
Police have identified him through fingerprints, but still haven’t managed to contact his next-of-kin in Lithuania.
Several people are known to be sleeping rough at the site, sheltering under the A13 flyover.
Detectives from the Homicide Command based at Barking have been visiting homeless shelters across east London, hoping to trace anyone who knew the dead man—but have so far drawn a blank.
They are appealing for rough sleepers or charity outreach workers to come forward and are urging them to contact the incident room on 020-8345 3862.
Two men were arrested during the investigations—one has been charged with murder.
Lithuanian Saulius Urbanavicius, 24, appeared at Thames Magistrates’ Court this-morning, when he was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
The second man has been released on police bail, to return in six weeks for further questioning.