Pictured: Polish woman, 21, stabbed to death in alleyway in upmarket west London – as cops arrest man, 29, who was ‘known to the victim’ on suspicion of murder
The 21-year-old woman found stabbed to death in an alleyway in a leafy part of West London was today identified as a Polish national after a man aged 29 was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Ania Jedrkowiak, who had suffered multiple stab injuries, was pronounced dead at the scene in upmarket South Ealing despite the efforts of paramedics in the early hours of yesterday morning.
Scotland Yard detectives said a 20-year-old man was taken into custody after police officers were called to the scene just after midnight, but then released with no further action.
Then, later on yesterday, a second man aged 29 – whom police said was known to the victim – was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken into custody where he remained today.
Local residents told of waking up to a ‘commotion’ after hearing sirens and shouting in the early hours coming from the alley which runs behind a number of detached houses. Several officers had attended the scene of the stabbing along with London Ambulance Service and London’s Air Ambulance.
The victim, who has been identified as 21-year-old Ania Jedrkowiak, was found with stab wounds in an alleyway yesterday
Police at the scene in South Ealing yesterday after Miss Jedrkowiak was pronounced dead despite the efforts of paramedics
A forensics officer at the scene on Church Gardens in South Ealing yesterday as Scotland Yard continue to investigate
A large police cordon remained in place around the crime scene last night which included the Grange School, Grange Nursery and Grange Pre-School – which were are all closed to students.
The scene is also near St Mary’s Church, a Victorian-built Anglican church, and the University of West London’s main building.
Families who live close to the alleyway – which is often used a short cut for people walking to a nearby London Underground station – said they avoid the ‘badly lit’ place after dark.
‘I never go down there after it is dark,’ said a mother whose home backs on to the alleyway. ‘It is very narrow and barely room for two people to walk past each other. There is not much street lighting, and it is somewhere I don’t go down there if I can avoid it.’
Other local residents said it was known to be frequented by drug dealers and users late at night. One said: ‘It’s pretty shocking – I don’t know anyone who would walk through that alleyway at night.
‘It’s always been a bit rough and somewhere to avoid – loads of drug dealing and that kind of thing. I heard a commotion this morning, sirens and lots of shouting. It woke me up.’
Several officers had attended the scene of the stabbing yesterday along with London Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance
Local residents told of waking up to a ‘commotion’ after hearing sirens and shouting in the early hours of yesterday
The 21-year-old woman was found stabbed to death in the alleyway in a leafy part of West London early yesterday morning
Another, who did not wish to be named, added: ‘It is pretty scary, considering it happened so close to a school.’
Detective Chief Inspector Brian Howie, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘We have now made a second arrest, which we believe is a very significant one in this investigation. The victim and suspect were known to each other.
‘We are examining CCTV and speaking to any witnesses who have come forward. However, we are always keen to hear from anyone else who has not yet spoken to us but who thinks they may have seen or heard anything, no matter how small, that could help.
‘In particular we would urge anyone who lives or was travelling in the area of South Ealing Road, between 11.15pm on Monday, May 16 and 1am the next day, or anyone who has CCTV or a doorbell camera, or a dash cam, to check it for anything that appears out of the ordinary.’
A number of forensic officers were seen working in the area late yesterday along with a police dog unit.
Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, who is in charge of policing for West London, including Ealing, said: ‘This is a tragic incident that I know has come as a shock to the local community.
‘Officers remain at the scene as our searches and forensic examinations continue. We will also have additional visible patrols in the local area tonight and in the coming days. We are grateful to those who live and work nearby for their support and understanding as we continue our work. We recognise the inconvenience it has caused.
Local residents said the area of South Ealing was known to be frequented by drug dealers and users late at night
A number of forensic officers were seen working in the area of South Ealing yesterday along with a police dog unit
Residents heard loud noises coming from the alley in South Ealing yesterday, which runs behind detached houses
‘Where possible we have taken steps to allow businesses and other venues such as the local church to reopen as soon as our investigation allowed. I am particularly mindful of the proximity of this incident to a local school – something which meant the school had to remain closed on Tuesday.
‘I know parents will be apprehensive and I’d like to reassure them that we are working with the school to make sure children can continue their learning with minimal disruption. We anticipate it will be able to reopen from Wednesday morning.
‘If anyone in the community has concerns I would encourage them to speak to an officer, contact their neighbourhood policing team or call the non-emergency number on 101.’
Yesterday, Chief Superintendent Wilson also said: ‘This is a truly shocking incident which will understandably cause significant concern among the local community and Londoners as a whole.
‘Violence of any kind, but particularly against women and girls, has a profound impact on communities and this will understandably impact on the confidence of those in the area going about their daily business.
‘I want to reassure the Ealing community that a team of specialist homicide detectives have commenced an investigation and they will use their skills and experience to ensure that whoever is responsible is brought to justice.’
Police urge anyone with information to call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 (ref 77/17MAY)