CCTV released in bid to trace killer of sex offender whose limbs were removed
Scotland Yard has released CCTV footage in a bid to trace the killer of a convicted sex offender, whose limbs were removed from his flat after he was strangled and dismembered.
Noel Brown's body was found next to his daughter, Marie Brown, 41, at his home in New Butt Lane, Deptford, south-east London, at about 2.30am on Monday December 4.
Ms Brown is believed to have been strangled to death after disturbing the killer when she went to check on her father, 69, on Saturday December 2.
Detectives are keeping an open mind over the motive, but are investigating whether Mr Brown's murder was linked to his 1999 conviction for a child sex offence.
Officers are trawling through 1,000 hours of CCTV footage, and on Wednesday the Metropolitan Police released images of a man seen carrying a distinctive large backpack.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding said the suspect was thought to have visited the flat at least four times as he dismembered Mr Brown's body.
"Parts of both his arms and a part of one of his legs have been removed from the scene and those have not been recovered," he said. "In my 27 years of policing, I have not seen anything quite like this."
Mr Harding said there was no trace of the missing body parts after police divers searched nearby Deptford Creek, while specialist dogs scoured the estate.
He said: "One of our key lines of inquiry is working to establish if the person or people involved were known to Noel, and if Marie somehow disturbed them.
"We believe that at least one person, and maybe two, were going back and forth to the location over the course of the three days from the Thursday to Sunday evening, and that they were possibly even present just hours before police arrived in the early hours of the Monday morning."
Mr Harding played down earlier speculation that Mr Brown may have been murdered over a big win at a bookies, saying he had made a "matter of pennies" when he was pictured leaving a betting shop on November 30.
He was last seen by a neighbour at around 8pm and police believe he was killed later that night or early the following morning.
The victim was convicted of a sex offence and jailed in 1999, but has been described as "well-liked and well-respected" in the area, having been released in 2004.
Mr Harding said the victim's criminal past was being treated as a significant line of inquiry, but added: "It could be a stranger or a failed robbery or burglary."
The suspect is believed to have visited the flat at least four times between killing Mr Brown and the bodies being found, in what the detective described as a big risk and highly unusual.
Officers are also trying to trace a woman wearing a light-coloured coat, who may have seen the man's face as he passed, as well as the occupants of a van seen driving along Reginald Road.
Anyone with information can call contact police on 020 8721 4205, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.