Alice Gross: Timeline of the Met police investigation


The disappearance of teenager Alice Gross became a murder inquiry after her body was found in a west London river. This is a timeline of the key events.

Detectives say significant efforts were made to conceal the body.

The body was found in the River Brent.

28 August

Alice leaves her home in Hanwell, west London, at 13:00 BST, telling her mother Rosalind Hodgkiss she will be home by 18:00 BST.

CCTV footage captures her walking along the Grand Union Canal towpath and at 15:45 BST she is spotted on cameras at Brentford Lock, south of where she lives.

The last sighting of her is at 16:26 BST, again by CCTV, walking along the canal under Trumpers Way, a bridge crossing the canal, heading towards Hanwell.

image copyrightMet Police

1 September

Alice's family make an appeal for her to get in touch with them, saying they "desperately miss her".

The Metropolitan Police (Met) says officers have spoken to her friends, carried out house-to-house inquiries and searched parks and open spaces in their efforts to find her.

media captionFamily plea for 'talented' daughter

3 September

Scotland Yard's homicide and major crime squad takes over the hunt for Alice, but says it is still confident it can get her home safely.

image copyrightAlice Gross family campaign FB page

4 September

Police release CCTV footage of the last time Alice was seen and reveal they have found a rucksack she was carrying, inside which were the shoes she was wearing.

Her family renew their appeals for help to find her, with her mother Miss Hodgkiss saying: "We'd like to say to Alice first of all that we miss her, that we love her and that she's not in any trouble, and we want to know that she's safe. We just want her to come home."

image copyrightMetropolitan Police

6 September

At 17:00 BST police arrest a 25-year-old man in the Ealing area on suspicion of murder. Detectives also release pictures of cyclists riding past the spot where Alice was last seen, to try to track them down.

image copyrightMet Police

7 September

Police divers search the Grand Union Canal for clues to Alice's disappearance and a sniffer dog is brought in to help scour an expanded search area.

A second man, aged 51, is later arrested on suspicion of murder. Police say the two arrests are "independent" of one another and stress it remains a missing persons inquiry. The two were later released with no further action.

image copyrightPA

16 September

Detectives say they are searching for 41-year-old Latvian builder Arnis Zalkalns in relation to Alice's disappearance.

He was last seen at his home in Ealing, west London, on 3 September.

Zalkalns is known to travel to work along a similar route to that which Alice took on the day she disappeared, police said.

A 25-year-old arrested on suspicion of murder is told he will face no further action. Detectives plan an appeal for help to find Alice on BBC's Crimewatch.

media captionPolice want to speak to Arnis Zalkalns

25 September

Alice's family make another plea for her to return home as police stage a reconstruction of her final movements four weeks after she disappeared.

media captionA police cadet shows Alice's walk, which Detective Superintendent Carl Mehta describes as "distinctive"

29 September

Detectives trying to trace Alice move their search to a National Trust-owned estate near to where she was last seen more than a month ago.

30 September

Search teams find a body in the River Brent. Detectives say significant efforts were made to conceal the body.

media captionCommander Graham McNulty: "Significant efforts were made to conceal the body"

1 October

The body found in a west London river is that of missing Alice Gross, the Metropolitan Police have confirmed.

image copyrightMet Handout
image captionAlice Gross was last seen walking along the Grand Union Canal on 28 August

2 October

A post-mortem examination on the body of the murdered schoolgirl failed to reveal the cause of death, police said.

Further tests are needed.

4 October

Police searching for Arnis Zalkalns, the man suspected of killing Alice Gross, find the body of a man in dense woodland in west London.

6 October

The body found in woodland in Boston Manor Park is confirmed as that of suspect Arnis Zalkalns.

10 October

The inquest into the death of 14-year-old Alice Gross is opened and adjourned.

13 October

Inquest into death of Arnis Zalkalns opens, hears post-mortem examination found the cause of death was "consistent with hanging" and is adjourned.

23 October

The funeral of murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross is held, with the ceremony featuring videos of Alice playing and singing songs she wrote herself.

image copyrightGetty Images

The funeral procession passes through Hanwell before the service.

2 November

Hundreds of people attend a memorial ceremony for Alice in Greenford, west London.

image copyrightPA

Her parents speak of their huge loss to hundreds of well-wishers who had queued in driving rain to attend service.


A copy of the police investigation file into the murder of Alice Gross was left by a coroner on a train. The senior west London coroner Chinyere Inyama "inadvertently disposed" of a 30-page document of evidence against the chief suspect Arnis Zalkalns in November, police said. The Metropolitan Police Service tried to recover the file but concluded it had probably been destroyed.

27 January

Charges would have been brought against Alice Gross murder suspect Arnis Zalkalns if he had lived, Scotland Yard says.

The Crown Prosecution Service says the case would have been based on circumstantial evidence, not forensic or eyewitness evidence.

14 September

The inquest is held into Arnis Zalkalns' death. Neither his family nor Alice Gross' family attend the inquest. He was found hanging in woodlands in west London on 4 October 2014 and took his own life, the coroner Chinyere Inyama ruled.

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