Murder of Sarah Everard sparks questions over death of Blessing Olusegun

Blessing Olusegun. Pic: Christiana Sofolabo

The recent murder of Sarah Everard, a 33-year-old marketing executive who went missing in Clapham while walking home has re-sparked interest in the details surrounding the death of Olusegun. 

Blessing Olusegun, a 21-year-old business student from South East London was found dead on Bexhill beach in East Sussex on September 18, 2020 just after 6am. 

The Londoner had been in Bexhill on a work placement as a carer, helping older people with dementia and other mental health issues.  

A post-mortem found that Olusegun had died through drowning, but the police outlined her death as “unexplained though not suspicious” as there was no evidence of violence or injury. 

Blessing Olusegun.

In light of the recent vigils and protests following the murder of Sarah Everard, Lewisham and Southwark Trade Union Councils (TUC) have criticised the police response to both the vigil for Sarah Everard and the death of Blessing Olusegun. 

President of Lewisham TUC, Cheryl McLeod said: “There is another death within our community, who like Sarah, was a woman who was walking alone.” 

“Her name is Blessing Olusegun, a young African woman who came to an untimely death on the September 18, 2020. Blessing’s mother faced a wall of silence, this is almost deafening.”   

50,000 signatures 

Like Everard, Olusegun was last spotted walking alone on CCTV and her last reported contact was a phone call with her boyfriend.  

Many have taken to social media to question why Olusegun’s death failed to receive the same national coverage and a petition calling for “justice for Blessing” has now gained nearly 50,000 signatures. 

Flowers, candles and signs at the Sarah Everard vigil in Clapham

In a separate statement, the TUC presidents McLeod and Arti Dillion said: 

 “Blessing’s mother Esther Abe is still demanding to know why her daughter died. This contrasts with the outrage from Reclaim The Streets around Sarah Everard.”

“There has not been the same vocal support by MPs and Peers discussing the horrific murder of Sarah’s death.”

“We need justice for Blessing and her family. We need fairness and we need democratic accountability of the police and government.” 

Ongoing investigation 

Sussex Police have assured that the investigation into Olusegun’s death is still ongoing. Detective Inspector Pippa Nicklin said: 

 “We understand this is an incredibly distressing time for Blessing’s mother and we are keen to do everything we can so that hopefully she may gain some closure over the death of her much-loved daughter.” 

“This remains an open and active investigation – it has never closed. Anyone who saw Blessing that night, or who has any other information that will help, can report online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Vista.”  

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