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Thursday, 1 March, 2001, 06:26 GMT
Police identify woman's dismembered body
Scotland Yard
Scotland Yard: investigating cases of missing women
By News Online's Peter Gould

Detectives say they believe they have identified the woman whose dismembered body was discovered last week in a North London canal.

Scotland Yard says her name is not being released until further tests have been carried out and the next of kin are informed. But they think she is from London, and was registered as a missing person.


We believe we may now know her identity

Scotland Yard

The woman's body, cut into several pieces, was discovered in a number of holdalls pulled out of the Regents Canal at Camden. It is thought the remains could have been in the water for several weeks.

Murder hunt

As they launched a murder investigation, police issued a description of the victim. She was said to be between 15 and 35 years of age, slim, and between 5ft 1in and 5ft 3in tall.

Zoe Parker
Zoe Parker: severed body in the Thames

The grim discovery came only weeks after the severed body of another young woman was found in the River Thames at Battersea. Zoe Parker, aged 24, was from West London. It's thought she could have been in the water for up to three weeks.

Police say that after she was murdered her body was cut in half at the waist, using something extremely sharp such as a samurai sword.

Detectives described her killer as "particularly dangerous".

Vanished

Scotland Yard is refusing to speculate on any possible connection between the two cases, or the disappearance of a number of young women from West London in recent months.

While their families continue to hope for good news, the way in which the women suddenly vanished has led to fears they may have been abducted.

When they disappeared
Elizabeth Chau,
16 April 1999
Lola Shenkoya,
3 January 2000
Iwona Kaminska,
13 July 2000
Sinead Healy,
18 October 2000

Among them is Iwona Kaminska, a 20-year-old theology student from Poland who was on holiday in Britain. She was last seen leaving a shop in Hammersmith.

Scotland Yard says a 10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to "the conviction of those responsible for her disappearance, abduction or murder".

Missing

There has also been no word from Sinead Healy, aged 26, who was last seen in the Hammersmith area last October. The National Missing Persons Helpline says her family and friends are "very concerned" for her safety.

Iwona Kaminska
Iwona Kaminska, the day before she disappeared

Two young women from the West London suburb of Ealing are still missing. Elizabeth Chau, 19, a student at Thames Valley University, and computer technology graduate Lola Shenkoya, 27, both "disappeared off the face of the earth" according to police.

In each case, they simply failed to return home, leaving all their belongings behind. And in each case their bank accounts have remained untouched, heightening fears that they were abducted.

Their families have appealed for information from the public, but Elizabeth Chau's sister Bic-Hang told News Online: "It looks as if they have been victims of something sinister."

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21 Dec 00 | UK
The families who wait
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