Police launch a murder manhunt for a missing person case

Police have launched a murder investigation after a man went missing in Croydon earlier this month.

Justin Henry, 34, was reported missing on October 16 and his family said his disappearance was out of character.

Detective Inspector Matt Wood, of the Metropolitan Police's Special Crime Branch, said on Wednesday: “Unfortunately, we had to inform Mr Henry's family yesterday that we are treating his disappearance as a homicide investigation.

“You can only imagine how devastating this will be for all those who love and care for him. I know his loved ones will continue to hope and pray that Justin is still safe and well.”

He continued: “The absence of any evidence that Justin is alive, the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, which his family say is entirely spontaneous, and the forensic evidence we have gathered all suggest that he is severely impaired and he may have been murdered.

“Along with his family, we sincerely hope this is not the case and that is why we are appealing to the public to help us find out what has happened to him. Please consider the anguish of Justin's family and if you have any information that could help, please contact us.”

Police are trying to trace the movements of Mr Henry, who has links to London's SE23 area, since he left his partner's home in Brixton on Sunday 15 October.

He was seen on CCTV at around 9.50pm that night buying food at a McDonald's restaurant in London Road, Croydon, and his silver Mercedes E Class remained for around two and a half hours.

The car was found in the early hours of Wednesday October 18 in Kingswood Drive, SE19, where it was spotted on CCTV shortly after midnight on October 16. The picture of the driver is unclear, but Mr Henry's family say it was not him.

Detective Inspector Wood urged people to “search their memory” and get in touch if they have any information.

“Don't worry if you think your information won't be important, it could be the vital piece of the puzzle that helps us find Justin and bring his family the answers they so desperately want, need and deserve,” she said. .

A 27-year-old woman arrested on October 18 on suspicion of kidnapping has been bailed pending further inquiries until mid-January 2024.

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 or contact via Twitter/X @MetCC quoting Operation Ashgulf or CAD 5224/21 Oct.

To give information anonymously, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.