Man found dead in Loughton woodland may have been kidnapped with woman - 3 men arrested


THREE men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after the body of a man was found in woodland in Loughton.

The Met Police has taken over the lead in the investigation from Essex Police as it is believed that the man died in London before being moved to Essex.

Essex Police officers had been called to the body of a man found near to Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate at around 11:55am on Saturday, 15 October. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is believed that the dead man and a woman had earleir been kidnapped from an address in Enfield, north London.

A Met Police spokesman said: "Following a number of enquiries the Met has taken primacy of the investigation."

Met Police officers had been called at 1:51pm on Friday, 14 October to reports of two people missing from an address in Ebony Crescent, Enfield - a man aged in his 40s and a woman aged in her 30s - who had last been seen the night before. They were known to each other.

Officers had been working to locate the pair, prior to the discovery of the body reported to Essex Police.

The spokesman added: "Detectives believe the man reported missing is the man found in Loughton. A post-mortem examination and form identification will take place in due course.

"The woman has been located and is physically unharmed.

"Police are providing specialist support to her, and to the family of the deceased."

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder in the Folkestone area of Kent. They remain in police custody.

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Kieran, Specialist Crime, said: “I would like to first offer our most sincere condolences to the family of the man who has died. My team and I are working 24/7 to establish exactly what has happened.

“This is a very complex and fast-moving investigation involving multiple units across the MPS, as well as invaluable support from our colleagues in Essex Police.

“While the investigation remains at an early stage, a key line of enquiry is that the man and woman were taken against their will in a vehicle on Thursday night. “I need anyone who was in the Ebony Crescent area on the night of Thursday, 13 October, and may have witnessed something suspicious, to contact police immediately. I urge people to check doorbell camera or dash cam footage – you may have captured something that could prove crucial to our investigation.

“A police presence will remain in the Oakwood Hill Industrial Estate area for the coming days as we work to complete further enquiries. We offer our apologies to anyone inconvenienced by the disruption of road closures.

“I’d appeal to any local people in the area who might also have helpful information, video and images to contact us.

“I can assure residents in Enfield and Essex that we are doing absolutely everything we can to understand the chain of events here, and bring to justice those responsible.”

Chief Superintendent Caroline Haines, lead for policing in Enfield police, said: “We understand the considerable concern this will evoke among local people. We are working to support our colleagues in Specialist Crime and will remain visibly present in the Ebony Crescent area as further enquiries are conducted.

“I urge local people to approach these officers with any concerns you have, and especially information that can help us. Support from the local community is invaluable in our effort to tackle violent crime.”

An Essex Police spokesman said: "Detectives have made good progress in their investigation into the discovery of a man’s body in woodland in Loughton yesterday morning (Saturday 15 October).

"The man’s death is being treated as suspicions and officers have working to establish the circumstances which led up to it.

"Through our enquiries, we now believe he died within the area for which the Met Police is responsible.

As such the investigation into the man’s death has been formally transferred to them."

Detective Superintendent Rob Kirby, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “The Met Police will now take the lead on this investigation but we will continue to support them.

“Road closures will remain in the area while investigations at the scene continue.

“Part of Oakwood Hill is closed to allow our investigations to continue. There is no access to the industrial estate via Chigwell Lane, however it can be access via Roding Road.

“While we don’t believe this will cause significant impact over the weekend, it may cause disruption at the beginning of next week as the industrial estate re-opens for business.

“Diversions will be in place and we appreciate your understanding patience while we carry out our enquiries at the scene.”

Anyone who has information that could help police should call 101 or tweet @MetCC ref CAD 3901/14 Oct.

To remain 100% anonymous contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.