Man aged 20 is arrested for the Romford murder of Maria Rawlings

Enterprise News and Pictures 7/5/21 Pic shows: Maria Jane Rawlings, 45, from Chelmsford, a mother-of-two, who body has been found in shrubbery in Romford. Police said it is believed she was murdered and are investigating after the body was found at around 2pm on Tuesday by a man out walking his dog in Little Hath, Romford, Essex. A post-mortem examination at Walthamstow Mortuary on Wednesday, 5 May, gave a preliminary cause for Maria's death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma. Officers are continuing to examine the crime scene and will remain in the area in the coming days. Any members of the public who believe that they have information that could assist police are asked to approach those officers, or to call the incident room on 020 8345 3865.Maria attended Kings Georges Hospital in Goodmayes, Ilford on the evening of Monday, 3 May. She then left the hospital and made her way on foot to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12. It is believed that whilst walking on this road, someone may have approached Maria. Her body was found the next day in Little Heath, Romford. The Met and Kent Police said today there was no suggestion that the murder has any links to the Kent PCSO Julia James murder investigation. See story...

Detectives investigating the murder of Maria Jane Rawlings have made an arrest.
A 20-year-old man was arrested on Sunday, May 9th on suspicion of murder.

He was taken to an east London police station where he remains in custody and Maria’s family have been informed.

Police were called at 2pm on Tuesday, May 4th after her body was found in Little Heath, Romford, by a man out walking his dog.

A post-mortem examination at Walthamstow Mortuary on Wednesday, May 5th, gave a preliminary cause for Maria’s death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma.

Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier, who is leading the murder investigation, said: “My thoughts remain with Maria’s family at this incredibly difficult time.
“I continue to appeal for anyone with information to contact police via the incident room on 020 8345 3865; via 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD3551/4May.”
He added that additional officers will remain in the local area to provide reassurance to the community.


Police had released bus CCTV of a man that they wanted to identify in relation to the murder of Maria, 45.
DCI David Hillier had asked for help from the public to identify a man shown travelling on a 364 bus towards Dagenham at approximately 12.16am on May 4th in the video.

The Mail Online had also obtained security camera footage which captured the final moments of mother-of-two Ms Rawlings before she was bludgeoned and strangled to death.
The footage shows the moment Ms Rawlings was grabbed off the street by her suspected killer and forced towards the bush where she was later found dead.

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