Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Saturday, 5 July 2008 15:19 UK

Man arrested over student murders

Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez
Mr Bonomo and Mr Ferez were to return to France this month

A man has been arrested in connection with the murders of two French students in south London.

Police said a 21-year-old man was taken into custody in south-east London in the early hours.

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

Detectives said they thought items may have been stolen from the flat in New Cross where the biochemistry students were found dead last Sunday.


The man, arrested at 0340 BST on Saturday, was being held at a police station in south-east London, said Metropolitan Police.

Floral tributes continue to be laid at the flat where the two men died.

Police are conducting house-to-house inquiries and have restated their appeal for information.

The parents of the two men, who are believed to have returned to France, have identified the bodies.

Our thoughts first and foremost go to their families and those close to them
Claude-Gilles Dussap
University director

Mr Bonomo and Mr Ferez had been doing research at Imperial College.

They were both in the second year of a Masters degree in biochemistry and had come to London at the end of May for a placement due to last three or four months.

Mr Bonomo, from Velaux, near Marseille, and Mr Ferez, from Prouzel, near Amiens, were working on a research project into chains of protein within DNA.

Det Ch Insp Mick Duthie said the flat in Sterling Gardens, New Cross - where Mr Bonomo was staying - had been burgled on 23 June and a laptop stolen.

Detectives think their bank cards and two Sony PSP games consoles were taken on the day they were killed.

Mr Ferez, who lived in South Norwood, had travelled to spend the evening at his friend's flat.

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 in New Cross

A pathologist found 243 separate injuries to the burned bodies. It is believed the men were dead before the fire started.

Mr Duthie, who is leading the investigation, said: "The more we find out about them the more we find they were good, honest, hard-working young men - very intelligent, never caused anybody any problems, they were well-liked and come from respectable families.

"This is just a tragedy."

A silent march in memory of Mr Bonomo and Mr Ferez is to be held on Monday at the Polytech Clermont-Ferrand, the university they attended in France.

The director of the university, Claude-Gilles Dussap, said in a statement: "Like all the staff and students at the school, I was deeply shocked to learn of their deaths... in particularly tragic circumstances.

"Our thoughts first and foremost go to their families and those close to them.

"The entire Clermontaise university community associates itself with their immense pain."

Robbery clue to student murders
04 Jul 08 |  London
Students stabbed and set alight
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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