Post-mortem of murdered teen Alice Gross to resume

A post-mortem examination on the body of murdered teenager Alice Gross was due to resume Thursday as police continue the hunt for a Latvian man wanted over the killing.

Scotland Yard confirmed a body pulled from the River Brent in west London Tuesday evening was that of the 14-year-old who had been missing for five weeks.

Alice’s parents, Rosalind Hodgkiss and Jose Gross, said they were “completely devastated” by the loss of their daughter, “a quirky live spark of a girl, beautiful inside and out”.

“It is difficult to comprehend that our sweet and beautiful daughter was the victim of a terrible crime,” they said in a joint statement.

“Why anyone would want to hurt her is something that we are struggling to come to terms with.”

The post-mortem began Wednesday at Uxbridge mortuary and was expected to continue Thursday due to the “complex nature” of the investigation, a spokesman for London’s Metropolitan Police said.

The force said a murder inquiry had been launched with the focus on tracing Latvian national Arnis Zalkalns, the prime suspect and a convicted killer.

Alice was last seen on CCTV footage walking along the Grand Union Canal near her home in west London on August 28.

Her disappearance sparked the biggest police operation since the July 7 London bombings in 2005, with hundreds of officers involved in the search.

The Latvian man was seen nearby at the same time and disappeared shortly afterwards.

Police believe Zalkalns, who served seven years in prison in Latvia for stabbing his wife and burying her in a forest, may have returned to his home country.

There is no arrest warrant out for the 41-year-old man, who has been missing since September 3.



.