Samaria Ayanle: Body found weeks ago believed that of missing student

A body recovered from the Thames in London last month is believed to be that of missing woman Samaria Ayanle, the Metropolitan Police has said.

The family and friends of the 19-year-old have been informed.

She was last seen on CCTV footage at her university accommodation near Marble Arch in the early hours of 22 February. A body was found near Putney Pier later that morning.

Ms Ayanle was first reported missing to police by university staff on Friday.

Search for student last seen nearly three weeks ago

More than two weeks earlier, on 22 February at 08:19 GMT, police were called by a member of the public to a body that had been discovered on the north foreshore of the Thames, near Putney Pier.

The body was recovered and no personal property was found, the Met said. Officers conducted finger print tests but these were negative.

Missing person reports

The Met said officers checked recent missing persons reports but the body did not match the description of any other persons reported missing at around that time.

The recovered body was sent to the coroner to conduct further checks and details were uploaded onto the UK Missing Persons database, the Met said.

Five days after Ms Ayanle was first reported missing on Friday, officers have now linked their inquiries to the 22 February discovery.

On Wednesday, they viewed body-worn video from the time and said they believed the person found was Ms Ayanle.

However, formal identification is yet to take place.

Ms Ayanle’s death is being treated as unexplained and pending further inquiries, the Met said.

She was a student at SOAS University of London, in Bloomsbury.

A SOAS spokesperson said: “We are deeply saddened to hear that police have discovered a body which is believed to be that of Samaria Ayanle, who was a first-year student at SOAS University of London, studying for a BA in Japanese and the History of Art.

“Our thoughts are with her family, loved ones and friends at this difficult time.

“We know that this news will be felt by many and we will be doing everything we can to support friends, family and the wider student and staff community.”

Anyone with information has been asked to contact the police on 101.



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