Police searching the Thames for the body of Clapham attack suspect Abdul Ezedi have instead found two bodies unconnected to the fugitive suspect.
Detectives believe Ezedi entered the river hours after dousing his ex-partner and her two daughters with a corrosive substance.
The Met’s running theory is that the 35-year-old entered the water near Chelsea Bridge in west London after carrying out the horrific attack on January 31.
Marine Policing Unit boats have been pictured on the Thames as officers search for a body.
On Saturday, police found one man’s body near HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge, at 10.13am, and another man’s body near Limehouse, east London at 10.39am, less than half an hour later.
A police boat is seen on the Thames as officers search the Thames for the body of Abdul Ezedi
Clapham attack suspect Abdul Ezedi is pictured on CCTV hours after dousing his ex and her two daughters with a chemical subtance
Both men’s deaths are being treated as unexpected and the police are working to identify them so they can inform their relatives.
Ezedi, from the Newcastle area, has not been since he allegedly poured a strong alkali on his ex-partner, and injured her two young children, aged three and eight, in Clapham, south London.
The mother-of-two is still in a critical condition and sedated in hospital, with police revealing that she was ‘too poorly to speak’ due to her ‘significant injuries’.
Both children have been discharged from hospital after witnesses also said the three-year-old girl was ‘slammed to the ground’.
The Met said yesterday its main working hypothesis was the attacker had ‘gone into’ the River Thames after being seen leaning over the railings of Chelsea Bridge on the night of the incident before disappearing from view.
He was last seen at 11.27pm on Chelsea Bridge – around four hours after the attack on Lessar Avenue in Clapham. He was never seen leaving the bridge area.
In a briefing at Scotland Yard, Commander Jon Savell said: ‘We have spent the last 24 hours meticulously following the CCTV, and it’s our main working hypothesis that he’s now gone into the water.
CCTV footage of Abdul Ezedi (centre, wearing a black jacket), the suspect in the Clapham alkaline substance attack, crossing over Chelsea Bridge
The Metropolitan Police launched a manhunt for attacker Ezedi (pictured) but they now believe he entered the water
‘We have looked at all of the available cameras and angles, and with the assistance of Transport for London and CCTV from buses that were travelling over the bridge at the relevant time and there is no sighting of him coming off the bridge.’
Asked whether police were willing to say that Ezedi was dead, Detective Superintendent Rick Sewart said: ‘I’m prepared to say that he’s gone into the water and if he’s gone into the water then that’s the most probable outcome.’
The woman had been in a relationship with Ezedi, with the breakdown of the relationship a possible motive for the attack.
Police said it was possible they may never find Ezedi’s body due to the speed of the current in the Thames.
He told the briefing: ‘At this time of year, the Thames is very fast flowing, very wide and full of lots of snags.
‘It is quite likely that if he has gone in the water, he won’t appear for maybe up to a month and it’s not beyond possibility that he may never actually surface.’
Mr Savell said the force were in contact with a member of Ezedi’s family.
Mr Sewart said the Met had tracked Ezedi’s movements from the Tower Hill area, where he has walked more than four miles ‘with purpose’ to Chelsea Bridge.
Police boat is seen as officers search the Thames for the body of Clapham acid attack suspect Abdul Ezedi
Marine Policing Unit boats have been deployed for the search which will take place at low tide today. Pictured: Chelsea Bridge today
Police said it was possible they may never find Ezedi’s body due to the speed of the current in the Thames
Police revealed the motive behind the ‘brutal’ attack appears to be the breakdown of a relationship. He is seen with injuries here in a Tesco supermarket after the attack
Abdul Ezedi was last seen leaving Tower Hill underground station in east London at 9.33pm on January 31 (pictured leaving the tube station)
Forensic police at the scene on Wednesday night near Clapham following the attack
Forensics at the scene take picture of the location close to Clapham Common following the incident
He continued: ‘When he has got to the area of Chelsea Bridge, his behaviour visibly appears to change in so much as he walked up and down the bridge – he pauses in the midpoint of the bridge, halfway down the bridge.
‘Then he walked to and from the side of the bridge and can be seen to sort of lean over the railings before there is a loss of sight.’
Police said that Ezedi would have been in an ‘extraordinary amount of pain’ with his ‘significant injuries’ after carrying out ‘the most horrific attack’.
They described how he travelled from Tower Hill, where he was seen leaving the Tube, to Chelsea Bridge.
Mr Savell added: ‘He walks purposefully. Halfway across Chelsea Bridge he pauses and paces back and forth towards the railings, as well as looking over them, this is a change in behaviour. Then he is lost from sight.
‘We have been closely liaising with a variety of experts through the National Crime Agency throughout the course of this investigation. Those experts have considered our latest information.
‘At that time of night, at this time of year, and entering the water from the middle of a bridge at height, the chances of Ezedi surviving are extremely remote. The Thames current is very strong which is an additional factor.’
A manhunt to find him has been ongoing for more than a week, with officers raiding two addresses linked to Ezedi in Newcastle in the early hours of Thursday.
Earlier this week police said the last confirmed sighting was just before 11.30pm on January 31, a few hours after the attack, as he crossed over Chelsea Bridge and entered Battersea Park in central London, then crossed back over the same bridge minutes later.
Ezedi came to the UK hidden in a lorry in 2016, and was turned down twice for asylum before successfully appealing against the Home Office rejection by claiming he had converted to Christianity.
He was convicted of two sexual offences in 2018 but was allowed to stay in the UK because his crimes were not serious enough to meet the threshold for deportation.
A tribunal judge is understood to have ruled in favour of his asylum claim in 2020 after a retired Baptist church minister confirmed he had converted to Christianity, reportedly describing Ezedi as ‘wholly committed’ to his new religion.
Ezedi, who is not the father of the children who were hurt, suffered significant facial injuries in the incident which police previously said could prove fatal if left untreated.
Around 500 people across the county have called police with information about Ezedi and his possible whereabouts since the incident happened.
Last week, Nick Aldworth a former national counter-terrorism co-ordinator with 36 years’ experience in the police and military, said it was is ‘not unlikely’ Ezedi could have taken his own life.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘I think if we’ve not seen or heard from him in the the last couple of days, which appears to be the case, he’s gone to ground, possibly supported by somebody…
‘Or – it’s not unlikely or improbable – that he may have taken his own life. There is therefore a body to be found somewhere.’
Police said Ezedi left Newcastle in the early hours of Wednesday and travelled south to London and was in the Tooting area by around 6.30am.
His vehicle was seen again in Croydon, south London, at around 4.30pm and by around 7pm he was in Streatham.
Ezedi allegedly threw the younger child to the ground during the attack at 7.25pm, before attempting to drive away from the scene, crashing into a stationary vehicle and fleeing on foot.
Police in hazmat suits raid a home in east London amid the search for Clapham chemical attack fugitive Ezedi
Officers were seen smashing in the doors of the property shortly after 2am on Friday
Minutes later he boarded a Tube train at Clapham South Underground station, and by 8pm he was at King’s Cross Tube station.
Ezedi was caught on CCTV at Tesco Express at 8.42pm before he caught a Victoria Line train south at King’s Cross at 9pm. 16 minutes later he left Victoria on an eastbound District Line train.
At 9.33pm, Ezedi is seen leaving Tower Hill station and an hour later CCTV has him heading south on Westminster Bridge. At 11pm, he he spotted heading north across Vauxhall Bridge.
And at 11.25, police have released CCTV of Ezedi entering Battersea Park before crossing Chelsea Bridge. He was not seen leaving after this.
Police say three members of the public who came to the aid of the family during the attack, two aged in their 30s and one in her 50s, have all been discharged from hospital with minor burns.
MailOnline has contacted the Met Police for comment.