Police are hunting for the killer of a woman found dead in church grounds

A manhunt has been launched for a woman’s killer after her body was found in the grounds of an east London Baptist church.

She is in her early 40s, had multiple injuries and was declared dead at the scene in what Metropolitan Police North East Borough Commander Richard Tucker described as a “shocking incident”.

Officers were called to the Memorial Community Church in Barking Road, Plaistow, on Thursday at around 3.10pm.

The woman is believed to have been killed early that morning.

Detective Inspector Darren Jones said: “We are working hard to establish the circumstances of what happened to the victim and at this stage we are keeping an open mind regarding a motive.

“There is a dedicated team who are exploring every single avenue to track down the person(s) responsible.

“Our thoughts are with the victim and her family.”

Mr Tucker said: “This is a shocking incident but I want residents to know that a team of specialist officers are working tirelessly to identify and apprehend whoever is responsible.

“I am grateful for our local community’s support and assistance during this time.”

A woman, who lives close to the church, said: “We’re just really shocked. I’ve never seen any trouble and I’ve lived here a long time.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police on 101 quoting CAD 3805/25Mar or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.