Woman, 36, dies after 'horrific assault' while walking in east London

26 June 2022, 17:14 | Updated: 26 June 2022, 17:18

The woman was walking up Cranbrook Road towards Gants Hill station
The woman was walking up Cranbrook Road towards Gants Hill station. Picture: Google Maps

By Will Taylor

A 36-year-old woman has died after a "horrific assault" left her with serious head injuries early on Sunday morning.

Police have launched a murder investigation and are yet to formally identify her, but her next of kin have been informed.

She was walking on Cranbrook Road, in Ilford, East London, towards Gants Hill station when she was attacked at about 2.44am.

A crime scene remains in place there. The woman was taken to hospital but later died.

It is the latest attack on women at a time when more attention is being paid to their safety after a string of high profile attacks and murders.

The Metropolitan Police urged women to be "alert but not alarmed" and said a "significant police presence" will be in the area for the coming days.

Chief Superintendent Stuart Bell, who leads the Met's East Area basic command unit (BCU), said: "Our investigation remains in the critical early stages and is now being led by homicide detectives from Specialist Crime.

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"The woman had been subjected to a horrific assault and sadly passed away as a result of her injuries.

"Urgent inquiries have been under way since the very early hours of Sunday morning to identify the woman. At this time formal identification is yet to take place but the woman's family have been informed and are receiving support from specially trained officers.

"Teams of dedicated officers are working at pace to establish what happened and identify the person responsible. This includes full forensic examination of the scene and the surrounding area, house to house inquiries and a focus on identifying all available CCTV.

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"No arrests have been made at this time.

"Local people will see a significant police presence in the area today and in the coming days.

"I understand that for women, particularly locally, this is an incredibly distressing incident, and I urge you to be alert but not alarmed."

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers, of the Met's Specialist Crime North Command, is leading the investigation and said: "It is vital that my officers speak with every possible witness and everyone with information that may assist the investigation.

"We are appealing for anyone who was in the Cranbrook Road area of Ilford between 2am and 3am on Sunday morning to get in touch, including anyone who drove through the area and may have dashcam footage.

"We also want to hear from anyone who saw anything suspicious in the wider Ilford area overnight."

Anyone with information or footage can call the major incident room on 0208 345 3715 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.