Maria Rawlings: Man charged with murder of mother found dead in Romford

·1 min read
 (PA)
(PA)

A man has been charged with the murder of Maria Rawlings, who was found dead in London last week.

Metropolitan Police announced Valentin Lazar, a 20-year-old from Barking, was charged on Monday evening.

He is due to appear in custody at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Ms Rawlings, a 45-year-old mother of two, was last seen walking home from hospital on Monday evening before being found dead in bushes in Romford by a member of the public on Tuesday.

Police believe she was attacked after leaving the King George Hospital in Ilford, walking to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12.

After an arrest was made, Dective 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.”

Police said they had stepped up their presence in the area due to safety concerns.

Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, the Metropolitan Police’s Basic Command Unit Commander for the surrounding area, said: “I understand the concerns around safety that will arise from this, particularly from women, and we have increased patrols in the area from our local policing teams.”

Those with information can contact the incident room on 020 8345 3865 or by calling 101 or tweeting MetCC, and quoting the reference CAD3551/4May.

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