Jamie Gilbey: Murder investigation after wanted man ‘harmed’
olice have launched a murder investigation after suspecting a man they were seeking for a number of robbery offences has “come to harm”.
Jamie Gilbey, from Crystal Palace, who was last seen on January 27, had been the subject of a missing person’s appeal and was being sought in connection with a number of robbery offences, the Met said.
The Met Police said officers had found a number of suspicious items at South Norwood Country Park in Croydon on Sunday at 1.45pm.
The items have been sent for further analysis and detectives await more information, Scotland Yard said.
Officers remain in the area of Love Lane and searches are ongoing, but police said detectives will not be discussing any further details around the discovery at this stage.
No arrests have been made.
Neighbours described how children playing in a community garden discovered a suitcase full of blood spattered clothing sparking the murder investigation.
The grim discovery was made in Love Lane Green, South Norwood by a picnic table and tree house popular with local families after being renovated over lockdown, they said.
Forensic officers had been at the scene since Sunday neighbours said conducting a fingertip search through nearby allotments and cutting back hedgerows to look for more clues.
One neighbour, 48, told the Standard: “Kids play up there all the time. The suitcase was just lying there and one of them opened it up to look.
“I didn’t know what was inside but police came down moments after and closed everything off.”
Another neighbour said: “If the suitcases were dumped at night you would think it was a good place to hide something.“But morning comes and then suddenly all the local kids are all over there and it’s quite open.”
Another resident giving her name as Michelle, added: “I came home from Venice to wake up in a murder scene. Police have been asking for my CCTV. My neighbour said they had found a suitcase full of bloody clothes and a stretcher nearby.”
College friend Ellie Maher defended Jamie online after police said he was wanted in connection with some robberies.
She said: “I went to college with Jamie. He did an animal care course with me. He would never hurt a fly.“
“He has compassion and is a good person deep down he’s in with the wrong crowd and would never bring harm to anyone physically. He doesn’t have it in him.”
Detective Inspector Melanie Pressley said his loved ones are “distraught” and need answers about what has happened.
She said: “We fully recognise this news and the police presence in the park will cause considerable concern to local people, however I want to say that we do not believe there to be any wider risk to members of the community.
“This is a fast-moving and complex investigation, and we’re following a number of positive leads as we work to establish what has happened to Jamie.
“Anyone who has information that could help us piece together a picture of Jamie’s life and who he had been interacting with should call us immediately. Jamie’s family are distraught and it is imperative we give them the answers to the questions that they are now asking.”
Chief Superintendent Dave Stringer, responsible for local policing in Croydon, Sutton and Bromley, said: “My officers remain on scene and providing a visible presence in the area for some days to come.
“I urge any members of the public who have any concerns, or information that could help us bring Jamie’s family justice, to approach those officers and speak to them.”