'Human torso' found in London river belonged to same woman found dead in park eight miles away

The human remains of Sarah Mayhew (pictured) have been discovered in two locations in south London (PA Wire)
The human remains of Sarah Mayhew (pictured) have been discovered in two locations in south London (PA Wire)

Human remains found in the River Wandle in south London on Tuesday belonged to Sarah Mayhew, a woman from Croydon who police believe was murdered.

Forensic tests were carried out on the torso after the grim discovery in Mitcham and Scotland Yard has confirmed the remains were part of the 38-year-old Ms Mayhew.

Other body parts were found in eight miles away in Croydon last month.

A resident on Rawnsley Avenue on the Wandle told the Standard of the “total shock” at the gruesome find in the family-friendly area.

The 51-year-old woman, originally from Brazil, has lived on the avenue for two decades.

She said: “It’s total shock. Where I am from these horrible things happen a lot, but you don’t expect it here. I got this house because it is in a green area near a river, you really don’t expect this.”

Another resident, Virgil Amponsah, 26, said: “This is crazy you do not expect something like that to be found here. it’s a nice area.”

A Scotland Yard statement said: "At 14:18hrs on Tuesday, 21 May, police were called to Rawnsley Avenue, Mitcham after human remains were found in a river by contractors carrying out cleaning work.

"Officers attended and a crime scene was established. Following examination of the remains, detectives informed the family of Sarah of this development.

"They continue to be supported by specially trained officers."

Detective Inspector Martin Thorpe, who is leading the investigation, said: “My thoughts remain with Sarah’s family. We will continue to provide our support as our investigation progresses.

“I expect my officers to remain in the area for some time as they carry out important work at the scene.

“Two people arrested, who were known to Sarah, were later charged with her murder. At present we are not looking for anyone else in connection with her death. Enquiries are ongoing.”

The first investigation related to Ms Mayhew was launched following a call to police shortly after 9am on April 2, to reports of possible human remains found on Rowdown Fields in Croydon.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation who has yet to speak with police is asked to call 101, quoting reference 1656/02Apr.

The River Wandle is a nine-mile long tributary of the Thames. It passes through the  boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.

Gemma Watts, 48, appeared at the Old Bailey via video-link last month (April) charged with Sarah Mayhew's murder.Steven Sansom, 44, is also accused of Ms Mayhew's murder and appeared at the same court via video-link.They are also charged with preventing her lawful and decent burial.