Chemical attack suspect likely vanished in the Thames, UK police say

LONDON (AP) — The suspect in a London chemical attack that left a woman hospitalized with life-changing injuries and injured her two young daughters likely has vanished in the River Thames, police said Friday.

Metropolitan Police Commander Jon Savell said closed-circuit television images showed Abdul Ezedi walking on a bridge over the river but never exiting it. Investigators concluded he had probably "gone into the water,'' although they haven't found a body.

“At this time of year, the Thames is very fast flowing, very wide and full of lots of snags,'' Savell told reporters. “It is quite likely that if he has gone in the water, he won’t appear for maybe up to a month, and it’s not beyond possibility that he may never actually surface.”

Police launched a nationwide manhunt for Ezedi, 35, after the woman and her daughter were attacked with an alkaline substance in the Clapham area of south London on Jan. 31. Images of Ezedi captured after the attack revealed he suffered significant injuries to the right side of his face.

The woman had previously been in a relationship with him, according to police.

British media reported that Ezedi is an Afghan refugee who was granted asylum even after he was convicted of a sex offense in Britain in 2018. Ezedi’s asylum application was initially rejected, but he was later given permission to remain in the U.K. after claiming that he had converted to Christianity, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

Police said their inquiries continue.