The teacher is believed to have been killed in a park in south-east London on what should have been a five-minute walk from her house to a nearby pub, police said, triggering a renewed outcry over Britain’s epidemic of violence against women and girls.
Metropolitan police said the man was arrested at an address in Lewisham and is still in custody. Police also released CCTV snapshots of another man they are looking for in connection with Nessa’s murder, and of a silver vehicle they believe he has access to.
“We would ask everyone – especially those in Kidbrooke and the greater area of Lewisham and Greenwich – to look closely at these photos to see if you know who this man is or has seen him in recent days,” Neil said. John, Detective Chief Inspector of the Met’s Special Crime Command.
“Any information about his identity or whereabouts could be crucial to our investigation, so we ask you to share this picture far and wide to ensure that as many people as possible see it,” John said, adding that detectives are trawling CCTV – recordings for more tracks.
A candlelight vigil to remember Nessa has been arranged by the Kidbrooke community at 19.00 Friday night at Pegler Square.
Zubel Ahmed, Nessa’s cousin, told ITV News on Wednesday that the family is still in shock and that the news of her death has left them “devastated” and “inconsolable”.
Nessa, who taught at a primary school in Lewisham, was “really the most kind and caring person out there,” Ahmed said. “I do not understand how anyone can do this, I really do not. It is a big, big loss for our family,” he said.
Nessa’s death comes six months after the United Kingdom was left behind after assaulting and murdering 33-year-old Sarah Everard.
Everard disappeared after leaving a friend’s house in Clapham, south London, on May 3. Her body was found a week later, more than 50 miles from where she was last seen. Her killer, a police officer, pleaded guilty to her kidnapping, rape and murder.
Everard’s story sparked an outpouring of social media from women who shared their own experiences of sexual assault and harassment, and catapulted Britain’s condemnatory record of violence against women and girls into the national spotlight.
More than 200 women were killed between March 2019 and 2020 in the UK, according to data from the Office for National Statistics and the Scottish Government.
After Nessa’s death, many point out that little has changed. In a statement sent to Twitter on Wednesday, the head of women’s equality, Mandu Reid, said: “The media has asked today: has it gotten better since Sarah Everard’s murder? The answer is NO.”
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