Alice Gross funeral to take place

Published: Thursday 23rd October 2014 by The News Editor

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The funeral of murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross will take place today.

Alice went missing on August 28, with police taking more than a month to find her body despite Scotland Yard staging the biggest search operation since the aftermath of the July 7 bombings.

Specialists search teams eventually discovered the 14-year-old’s remains hidden under logs in the bed of the River Brent in west London on September 30.

The prime suspect in her murder, convicted killer Arnis Zalkalns, was then found hanged in nearby Boston Manor Park on October 4, four weeks after he was reported missing to police.

Alice’s disappearance sparked an outpouring of support in and around Hanwell, west London, where she lived with her parents, Rosalind Hodgkiss and Jose Gross, and elder sister, Nina.

Yellow ribbons and bows were spread around the area along with “missing” posters as the community lived in hope that the Brentside High School pupil would be found.

Alice was last seen on CCTV walking along the towpath beside the Grand Union Canal near her home on the afternoon of August 28.

Nearly three weeks later investigators realised that Zalkalns, who served seven years in prison in his native country for bludgeoning and stabbing his wife Rudite to death, had been cycling behind her.

Police have come under fire for delays in identifying Zalkalns as a suspect, who himself vanished on September 3 and was reported missing by his family two days later.

It took another two weeks for officers trawling through CCTV to realise that he had been following Alice when she was last seen.

The general labourer, who worked at a building site in Isleworth, west London, is believed to have come to the UK in 2007, but authorities here are thought to have had no record of his murder conviction.

A review of how the case was handled is currently being carried out by Scotland Yard.

Inquests into both their deaths have been opened and adjourned, with further tests going on to find out how keen musician Alice died.

Published: Thursday 23rd October 2014 by The News Editor

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