Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 16:39 UK

Robbery clue to student murders

Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez

The killer of two French students may have stolen items from the flat they were found in after the fatal attack, detectives have revealed.

The badly-burned bodies of Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23, were found with more than 240 stab wounds.

Police said the men's bank cards may have been taken along with two Sony PSP games consoles.

A laptop had been stolen from the flat in Sterling Gardens, New Cross, south London, six days earlier.

Officers said they were following up 25 calls received in response to their appeal for information.

Games console

Det Ch Insp Mick Duthie said: "We are keen to hear from anyone who has recently been offered a laptop and two personal game consoles, or knows someone who has unexpectedly come to have them.

"A black Packard Bell laptop was taken during a burglary that took place between 0500 and 0600 BST on 23 June, 2008. Someone entered the living room of 12 Sterling Gardens and stole the computer.

Police say certain items of missing property could provide a clue

"Laurent Bonomo said he was in the shower when he heard a suspicious noise. He found the window of his living room forced open and his laptop was stolen.

"The search of the address is not yet completed, but we have established that two Sony PSPs are missing and believe they were taken during the incident on Sunday when the two men were killed," he said.

The serial number of one of the games consoles is SO1-06113169-C, he added.

Describing the crime scene as "complex", Mr Duthie said the forensic search was "slow and difficult" and could take weeks to complete.

"It's a horrific attack... If this was a burglary and this level of violence has been used I need to catch that person or persons and I need to catch them quickly."

A London Fire Brigade cordon outside the flat where French students Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez were found dead
The two bodies were found in the ground-floor flat

Mr Duthie added extra police officers will be patrolling the area.

The French news agency AFP reported one woman as having seen two men banging on the window of the flat on Sunday, the day the students' bodies were found.

Mr Duthie said the men's injuries were horrific, adding it was possible they had been tortured.

Police also said the attacker, who may have been using hard drugs, had started a fire after the killing and an explosion was heard from the property.

Mr Duthie also appealed for information about a man described as white seen running from the bedsit rented by Mr Bonomo.

There were no signs of forced entry and it is possible another set of keys was used to gain entry to the flat.

Another line of inquiry is that their deaths could have been the result of mistaken identity as police "cannot find anything in these two young men's background to suggest they were involved in any criminality".

'Avenge' killing

Mary Bertez, Mr Bonomo's fiancee, last spoke to Mr Bonomo on Sunday morning.

Writing on a social networking site, she said she would help police with the inquiry so he could "be avenged".

She wrote they had "10 months of a happiness I had never experienced until then" and she would "never stop thinking about" him.

The biochemistry students had been involved in a research project at Imperial College, London, and were due to return home to France later this month.

Imperial's Rector Sir Roy Anderson said the university had been left in shock by the deaths of the students who had "bright futures ahead of them and it is dreadful that their lives should end so soon".

Students stabbed and set alight
03 Jul 08 |  London
Flat fire pair stabbed to death
03 Jul 08 |  London

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Harrow Times Parents' plea in French student double killing - 26 mins ago
Mirror Parents of murdered French student appeal to killer - 35 mins ago
Daily Mail Gabriel was our angel, say parents who vow for justice over French student - 6 hrs ago
Scotland on Sunday Online Man arrested over French students' deaths - 10 hrs ago
Daily Express Man quizzed over student murders - 10 hrs ago

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