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Police searching second property in hunt for Alice

By Staff Reporter

Police are searching a second property in connection with the disappearance of schoolgirl Alice Gross.

Scotland Yard said that officers are at a house in Boston Road in Hanwell, west London.

A spokesman also said that officers found a red Trek bicycle belonging to prime suspect Arnis Zalkalns, but would not say where it had been recovered or in what circumstances.

The spokesman said that no European arrest warrant has been issued for the 41-year-old.

Forensic officers have been searching a property where Zalkalns has been living with his partner and their young child in Ealing.

He was identified in CCTV footage riding the Trek bike past the same spot where she had been seen 15 minutes earlier on the afternoon Alice went missing three weeks ago.

The Latvian builder was last seen on the evening of Wednesday September 3 and has not accessed his bank account or used his mobile phone. His passport was left at his house.

He was reported missing on Friday September 5 and his family have said that it is out of character for him to disappear.

In 1998 Zalkalns was convicted of bludgeoning and stabbing his wife Rudite Zalkalns to death in Latvia and served seven years in prison, prompting questions over why he was allowed into the UK.

Ms Zalkalns' mother Viktorija described the suspect as a "control freak with a fierce temper".

Speaking from her home on the outskirts of Riga, the 70-year-old said: "I'm still angry at the length of his sentence. This was a callous and heartless murder with no remorse. My daughter was trained in karate but she couldn't fight him off.

"He prepared my daughter's grave in advance and planted the weapons next to it. Then he tricked her into going with him to a forest."

Detectives have said that Zalkalns was arrested on suspicion of indecently assaulting a 14-year-old girl in 2009, but no further action was taken.

The general labourer is thought to have come to the UK in 2007. Police said yesterday that it was their understanding there was no record in the UK of his murder conviction.

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