A body has been found inside a suitcase recovered from a canal in England.
Detectives are investigating the “suspicious” death of the person, believed to be female, after officers were called to the Grand Union Canal near Delamere Terrace, Maida Vale, London.
A search team was expected to arrive at the canal, which was partly cordoned off by police.
The Metropolitan Police marine policing unit and London Fire Brigade helped recover the suitcase.
Houseboats are moored along the edge of the canal and one police officer described it as a “tight-knit community”.
One man, who gave his name only as Bruce and is staying on a boat near where the body was found, returned just as police arrived.
He said: “I saw policemen in blue overalls looking in the water and more and more police started turning up. It’s a bit too close for comfort.”
A spokesman for the Met said: “The death is being treated as suspicious and detectives from homicide and major crime command are investigating. We are working to discover the identity of the deceased.”
A post-mortem examination is due to be held and no arrests have been made.
Neighbours said it was a safe area, but some were shocked by the discovery.
Rosaline Monrose, 74, lives in a flat directly overlooking the water. She said: “It’s frightening. My husband passed away last May and I live here on my own.”
Pedro Garcea, 30, said his girlfriend Soraya is worried about walking home late at night.
He said: “We were a bit concerned because Soraya works in a hospital and has to walk home – she sometimes doesn’t leave until 5am.”
The canal was ``mobbed'' by more than a dozen police officers after the discovery was made, according to an onlooker.
Houseboat residents were reportedly asked by police where they had been on Friday and Saturday.
It is unclear how long the body was in the river for.
Natasha Widowson, 23, lives on a boat near where the body was found.
She said: “We heard the body was found by some walkers passing by. Police told us there had been an accident and no-one was allowed to go past the bridge.”