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Harold Hill murder: Attacker was sitting in the same park as victim 30 minutes before she was stabbed to death

PUBLISHED: 18:11 03 March 2019 | UPDATED: 20:44 03 March 2019

Jodie Chesney who was stabbed to death in Harold Hill. Photo: Met Police

Jodie Chesney who was stabbed to death in Harold Hill. Photo: Met Police

Met Police

The man who stabbed a 17-year-old girl to death in Harold Hill was sitting in the same park as her half an hour before attacking her, according to police.

Police officers remain at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl at a Harold Hill park. Photo: Liam ColemanPolice officers remain at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl at a Harold Hill park. Photo: Liam Coleman

Detectives are continuing to investigate the fatal stabbing of Jodie Chesney in Harold Hill on Friday night, and are urging witnesses or anyone with information to contact police.

Police were called by the London Ambulance Service at 9.25pm to reports of a stabbing in a park close to St Neot’s Road in Harold Hill. Officers attended and found Jodie suffering from a stab injury. She was pronounced dead at 10.26pm.

Her next of kin have been informed. A post-mortem examination today (Sunday, March 3) at East Ham mortuary gave cause of death as trauma and haemorrhage.

A murder investigation has been launched by detectives from the Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC).

Police officers remain at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl at a Harold Hill park. Photo: Liam ColemanPolice officers remain at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl at a Harold Hill park. Photo: Liam Coleman

Initial enquiries have established that Jodie was with a group of five other teenagers playing music and socialising in the park on Friday evening.

Jodie’s group were aware of two males in the park who left at around 9pm without interacting with Jodie or her friends.

Around 30 minutes later the pair returned to the park and walked straight towards the group, where one of the males stabbed Jodie once in the back.

Nothing was said by the two suspects, who ran off in the direction of Retford Road.

Police officers remain at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl at a Harold Hill park. Photo: Liam ColemanPolice officers remain at the scene of the fatal stabbing of a 17-year-old girl at a Harold Hill park. Photo: Liam Coleman

The suspect who attacked Jodie is described as a black male aged in his late teens. There is no further description of him at this stage, nor is there any description of the other male.

The detective leading the investigation, DCI Dave Whellams, said: “I am appealing for any witnesses who have yet to speak with police to call me. There has been excellent support from the local community and a number of people have shared information with police, but there will be other witnesses and people with information that may prove crucial.

“Although the description of the suspect is limited, I am certain that people will have seen the two males hanging around the park or running away from the scene - or will otherwise have noticed something suspicious. I need those people to call me.”

At this early stage, there have been no arrests and enquiries continue.

Police at the scene in Harold Hill where a 17-year-old girl was fatally stabbed last night. Photo: Liam ColemanPolice at the scene in Harold Hill where a 17-year-old girl was fatally stabbed last night. Photo: Liam Coleman

Anyone with information should call the HMCC Incident Room on 020 8345 3775, Tweet @MetCC or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Speaking in Havering the day after the murder, Acting Det Chf Sup John Ross of the East Area Command Unit said: “Yesterday a 17-year-old girl lost her life, and I want to express my deepest sympathies to (Jodie’s) family and friends. Her death is a tragedy. I can reassure them and the whole community that we are doing everything possible to identify and bring to justice the person or persons responsible.

“It is days like these that really do highlight how we must continue to work tirelessly with our partners and the public to tackle knife crime.

“I am urging any witnesses, anyone who saw anything suspicious or anyone with information about the incident to contact police and share what they know.

Police at the scene in Harold Hill where a 17-year-old girl was fatally stabbed last night. Photo: Liam ColemanPolice at the scene in Harold Hill where a 17-year-old girl was fatally stabbed last night. Photo: Liam Coleman

“There will be additional police patrols in and around the Harold Hill area in the coming days, and anyone with any information should please speak with those officers.

“Since the middle of last year, we have seen some reductions in knife crime - particularly in relation to people under the age of 25. However we are NOT complacent.

“Bearing down on violent crime on the streets of London is a top priority for the Met, and I am clear that the people of Havering and communities across London have an absolutely vital role to play.

We need to hear from anyone who has information that could detect or prevent crime. Your information could take a knife off our streets or save a life.”

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