‘Limbless torso’ found in river belongs to Sarah Mayhew, 38, nine miles from where her other remains were found in park – as two remain in custody charged with murdering her and cutting up body


Police confirmed that the human remains found in a river in south London on Tuesday are those of missing woman Sarah Mayhew, while two people are still in custody on charges of killing her and dismembering her.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police were called to Rawnsley Street in Mitcham at 2.18pm yesterday after contractors carrying out repair work discovered her torso nine miles from where the rest of her body was found.

Sarah, 38, from Croydon, was last seen in Sutton, south-west London, on the evening of March 8.

Gemma Watts, 48, and Stephen Sansom, 44, are charged with her murder and preventing her lawful and proper burial.

Sarah's death was confirmed last month after partial remains were discovered in Rawdown Fields in New Addington. A forensic tent was set up this morning at the scene of the accident and a security cordon was imposed.

Sarah, 38, from Croydon, was last seen in Sutton, south-west London, on the evening of March 8.

Police set up a forensic crime scene with tents and a strip of woodland as they searched an area in southwest London after a limbless torso was found in the River Wandle in Ravensbury Park.

Police set up a forensic crime scene with tents and a strip of woodland as they searched an area in southwest London after a limbless torso was found in the River Wandle in Ravensbury Park.

Stephen Sansom, 44, (pictured) was arrested on Saturday and later charged with Ms Mayhew's murder.

Gemma Watts, 48, was arrested on Saturday and subsequently charged with Ms Mayhew's murder.

Gemma Watts, 48, and Stephen Sansom, 44, were arrested on Saturday and subsequently charged with Ms Mayhew's murder and preventing her lawful and proper burial.

Officers discovered Sarah's arms, legs and head, but confirmed they were still searching for the rest of her body.

The pair allegedly murdered Ms Mayhew at a residential property before dismembering her body with power tools.

Mrs Mayhew's cause of death remains unknown, and her family is receiving support from specialist officers.

However, an examination of her body previously found that she had two small fractured vertebrae in her voice box, a bruised skull, and her head had been shaved.

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

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

The court heard that the pair killed Ms Mayhew at a residential property before dismembering her body with power tools

The court heard the pair killed Ms Mayhew at a residential property before dismembering her body with power tools

A dog walker alerted police to the first horrific discovery after their dog discovered a human bone.  DNA testing later found they belonged to Ms Mayhew (pictured)

A dog walker alerted police to the first horrific discovery after their dog discovered a human bone. DNA testing later found they belonged to Ms Mayhew (pictured)

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

Watts and Sansom appeared at the Old Bailey last month, where they were remanded in custody.

Judge Katz set a plea hearing for June 27 and a four-week interim trial starting February 17 next year.

Sansom, of Burnell Road, in Sutton, south-west London, also faces three separate charges of taking indecent photographs of a child.

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation and who has not yet spoken to police is asked to call 101, quoting reference 1656/02 April.





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