Convicted killer Arnis Zalkalns, who was spotted following the 14-year-old along a tow path when she was last seen, vanished nearly a month ago.
Scotland Yard has come under fire for delays in identifying the 41-year-old Latvian as a risk, and so far has not been able to apply for a European Arrest Warrant due to lack of evidence.
Yesterday Metropolitan Police Commander Graham McNulty said that “significant efforts” were made to hide the body, which was found in the River Brent near Alice’s family home in Hanwell, west London.
But he gave no further explanation as to why it has taken more than a month for any significant progress to be made in the hunt for Alice, despite the force holding the biggest search since the aftermath of the July 7 bombings.
Alice was last seen on CCTV walking along a tow path beside the Grand Union Canal in west London on the afternoon of August 28.