London arrest over 'suitcase murders' as police manhunt continues

A man has been arrested in London after human remains were discovered in suitcases on Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Met Police have said.

Scotland Yard said that a 36-year-old man had been arrested at an address in Greenwich and taken into custody, where he remains.

It is not the same man being sought by police after a CCTV image was released on Thursday, they added.

The Met did not confirm what offence the man had been arrested on suspicion of.

A separate crime scene is in place in Shepherd’s Bush.

In an earlier statement, the Met said that the man wanted in connection with the incident had travelled to Bristol from London earlier the same day.

The victims have not yet been formally identified but both are believed to be two adult men, with the results of one post-mortem examination “inconclusive”, while a second post-mortem examination is ongoing.

A private ambulance arrived at the scene in Shepherd’s Bush at 6.30pm on Friday.

The crime scene in Shepherd’s Bush (Supplied)
The crime scene in Shepherd’s Bush (Supplied)

It comes a day after police released a CCTV image of a man they want to speak to after two suitcases believed to contain human remains were found at the famous bridge in Bristol.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Valentine, who is leading the investigation for the Met, said: “Over the last 48 hours we have been working extremely closely with colleagues from Avon and Somerset. This work leads us to believe the man we need to speak to travelled to Bristol from London earlier on Wednesday evening.

“We are drawing on resources from across the Met to find and apprehend the suspect and I would urge anyone who believes they see him, or who knows of his whereabouts, to call 999 straight away. Do not approach him.

“We recognise this has caused significant concern to residents in the Clifton area and will cause concern among those who live and work in West London.

“Extra officers will be on patrol in the area over the coming days and I would encourage anyone with any concerns to speak to them.”

Police at the other side of the cordon on Lime Grove (Supplied)
Police at the other side of the cordon on Lime Grove (Supplied)

An officer at the scene in Shepherd’s Bush told residents that the cordon could be in place for up to two days.

Two police helicopters were seen circling above the cordon, as four police officers guarded tape which cordoned off an area of bins below a high-rise building.

Anthony Priest, 85, a resident of the Scott’s Road area in Shepherd’s Bush, said: “I heard them all tearing down here in the early hours of the morning.

“I heard a police car coming down, with lights flashing.

“It must have been about half past three.”

Another resident who did not want to be named told the Standard that police had been at the scene since 6am on Friday, with helicopters circling since 11am.

The woman, who has young children, said: “Of course I’m worried about their safety. Sometimes when they walk home from school police are here but I don’t understand why.”

Candice McLeod, who has lived in Shepherds Bush for 17 years, said police had cordoned off a house since 8am on Friday morning and the cordon has now widened to the whole street.

She said: “I don’t let my 11-year-old daughter walk here alone.”

Residents have been told the cordon could be in place for two days (Supplied)
Residents have been told the cordon could be in place for two days (Supplied)

The finding came after officers were called to reports of a man acting suspiciously on the famous bridge in Bristol just after 11.57pm on Wednesday.

Avon and Somerset Police said the man they wish to speak to was Black with a beard and was wearing a black Adidas baseball cap, black jeans, a black jacket, black trainers with thick white soles and had a black backpack.

He is thought to have left the bridge in the direction of Leigh Woods.

Police are reviewing CCTV and working on tracking the man’s movements after he left the bridge.

There is no risk to the wider public, police said.

Officers arrived at the scene within ten minutes, but the man had already left the scene leaving a suitcase behind. A second suitcase was found nearby a short time later.

Police have established the man was taken to the bridge in a taxi. The force said the vehicle has been seized and the driver is helping them with their enquiries.

The bridge has been shut since early on Thursday and authorities have said it will remain closed all day.

Acting Bristol Commander Vicks Hayward-Melen said: "This is a very disturbing incident and I fully recognise the concern it will be causing our communities.

"The investigation is being led by our Major Crime Investigation Team and involves specialist officers and staff from across our organisation.

"Our immediate priority is to locate the man who took the suitcases to the bridge, identify the deceased, and inform their next of kin.

"Specialist officers are ready to provide them with any support they need.

"An immediate search of the area was carried out by officers on the ground with the support of the National Police Air Service and HM Coastguard following the discovery of the suitcases. These searches remain ongoing.

"Initial enquiries have established the man was taken to the bridge in a taxi. This vehicle has been seized and the driver is helping us with our enquiries.

"Specialist crime scene investigators are currently examining the bridge and surrounding area and the bridge will remain closed while these enquiries are conducted.

"A forensic post mortem examination will take place later today.

"There is currently an increased police presence in the area and anyone who has concerns is encouraged to speak to an officer."

Anyone who has seen the man in the CCTV image is urged to call 999, quoting reference 5224180010 to the call handler.