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Suspect in murder hunt took his own life

By David Mercer

Schoolgirl Alice Gross's suspected killer, who was found hanged just days after her body was pulled from a river, "took his own life", a coroner has ruled.

The body of Arnis Zalkalns was discovered in Boston Manor Park, west London, in October last year, four days after 14-year-old Alice was found weighted down in the Grand Union Canal in Ealing.

Scotland Yard later said the 41-year-old Latvian - who had previously served seven years for murdering his wife in his home country - would have been charged with Alice's murder if he had still been alive.

At an inquest into Zalkalns' death at West London Coroner's Court, coroner Chinyere Inyama said: "There is no other reasonable alternative explanation. I record that Arnis Zalkalns took his own life."

Alice's body was found wrapped and weighted down in a shallow stretch of river by London Fire Brigade divers on September 30.

The schoolgirl from Hanwell, west London, was identified using dental records and a post-mortem examination proved inconclusive.

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