Police have said the man they are searching for in connection with the murder of teacher Sabina Nessa “must be traced”, a week after her body was found.
The Met said the balding man shown in CCTV footage released on Friday is believed to have been carrying a reflective red object as he walked through Pegler Square, Kidbrooke, south-east London, where Ms Nessa had been heading on the evening she died.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said the man, pictured wearing a black hooded jacket and grey jeans, may have been trying to hide the object up his sleeve.
He said: “I continue to appeal for any witnesses and anyone with information to contact police and share what they know.
“People in the Kidbrooke area last Friday may recall seeing this man carrying a red reflective object, and possibly trying to conceal it up his sleeve. If so, please call police.
“Please share the CCTV footage on social media and, especially if you have connections to London or Kent, show the image to family members and friends who may not have seen it. He must be traced.
“We all saw at yesterday evening’s vigil the impact that Sabina’s death has had on the community.
“I would reiterate my plea to those in the local area to think and if you have any information that could help this investigation, then please get in touch.”
Hundreds of mourners, including tearful relatives, gathered for the emotional candlelit vigil in memory of the Rushey Green Primary School teacher who was just 28 when she died.
Jebina Yasmin Islam, Ms Nessa’s sister, broke down as she addressed crowds at the vigil.
She said: “I just want to say thank you to everyone who came today to show support for my sister.
“We have lost an amazing, caring, beautiful sister, who left this world far too early.”
She added: “Sabina loved her family.
“Words cannot describe how we are feeling, this feels like we are stuck in a bad dream and can’t get out of it – our world is shattered, we are simply lost for words.
“No family should go through what we are going through.”
Ms Nessa’s uncle Shahin Miah described his niece as “a kind and a open-minded person”, who was “always smiling and helping others”.
He said Ms Nessa’s death has “once again brought to the fore the question of women’s safety on the streets”.
In his statement, he said: “We don’t want what happened to Sabina to happen to anyone else.
“We don’t want any other mother’s chest to be empty or filled with deep sorrow, or to see the tears in the eyes of any father.”
The Duchess of Cambridge also described how she was “saddened by the loss of another innocent young woman on our streets” on Twitter.
OneSpace community centre, which is close to where a dog walker discovered Ms Nessa’s body on Friday, invited members of the community to write tributes to her in a book of condolence as it re-opened on Saturday.
The building had been cordoned off by police as they searched the surrounding Cator Park where officers believe Ms Nessa was attacked, and it remained closed until the weekend as a “mark of respect”, the owners said.
Ms Nessa had been walking to meet a friend at a pub near her home when she was attacked in Cator Park on September 17.
Her body was discovered by a member of the public the next day, having been hidden under a pile of leaves, it was reported.
Two men were separately arrested on suspicion of her murder but were subsequently released under investigation.
Detectives also circulated an image, captured in the same area, of a silver car they believe the man they are searching for had access to and appealed for anyone who recognised either to contact the force immediately.
The Metropolitan Police remain keen to trace a third man spotted near where Ms Nessa was killed on the night she died and captured in the 12-second CCTV clip.