Police divers in Tower Hamlets are dredging a canal, after a tip-off that it may contain the gun used in a double murder five years ago.
Jordan Jackson, 20, and Leyla Djemal-Northcott, 21, were killed when masked men burst into the flat in Menlo Gardens, Upper Norwood, on March 7, 2006, firing at least six shots.
Detectives believe the targets were Mr Jackson and his brother Keiran, who was also in the flat but survived the attack. Ms Djemal-Northcott died as she lay in bed.
The search is being carried out in Regent’s Canal in Mile End Park, Tower Hamlets. Detective Chief Inspector Neil Hutchison, of the Met’s Operation Trident, which investigates violent crimes amongst London’s black communities, said the gun could hold the key to solving the murder.
“I believe these murders were pre-meditated executions. The two suspects forced their way into the flat early in the morning before shooting the victims at close range. The victims had no chance to run or defend themselves,” he said
“This happened nearly five years ago but I am hopeful that someone may come forward with information in relation to these murders.
“Allegiances may have changed in the last five years and any information could help us to finally bring those responsible to justice. If anyone out there is reluctant to tell us what they know because they are frightened then I want to assure them that they will be protected,” he added.
Police believe that Ms Djemal-Northcott was just an innocent bystander, who was killed just because she was in the flat.
Christine Djemal, the mother of Ms Djemal-Northcott, said: “Leyla had not had the opportunity to finish college, get married, have children. She is deeply missed by her family who still find it hard to come to terms with her sudden and violent death.”
Claudia Webbe, Chairwoman of the Trident Independent Advisory Group, said: “I appeal to mothers, girlfriends, sisters in the community who must understand the grief Leyla and Jordan’s family are suffering. Do you have information that could help a mother finally find closure? I would urge them to contact the police and help us ensure that these violent criminals do not cause more pain in our community.”
The Met is offering a reward of up to £20,000 for information which leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murders.
Anyone with information should call police on 0208 247 4553 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.