Student nurse Owami Davies found safe after seven weeks missing

Met Police say woman, 24, was found in Hampshire in the south of England

Police officers stand outside New Scotland Yard in London. EPA.
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Student nurse Owami Davies has been found “safe and well” in Hampshire more than seven weeks after she went missing, the Metropolitan Police have said.

Ms Davies, 24, was last seen walking north along London Road in Croydon on July 7 and concerns had been growing for her safety.

But on Tuesday, Det Ch Insp Nigel Penney from the force's Specialist Crime Command said: “This is clearly the outcome we were hopeful for — the finding of the missing lady, Owami Davies.

“I'd like to say she has been found safe and well outside the London area in the county of Hampshire and she's currently with specialist officers from my team.

“She looks in good health, she's in a place of safety, and not currently in the vulnerable state that we were led to believe she was in at the start of her disappearance.”

Met Commander Paul Brogden said “all aspects” of the investigation would be reviewed to assess whether there is “any learning that we need to take” from how it was handled.

Despite the arrests of five people and numerous appeals for information, officers were struggling to locate Ms Davies as they trawled through 117 reported sightings.

The 118th report, made by a member of the public at 10.30am on Tuesday, was the one which led to her being found.

Detectives said on Monday that Ms Davies could be sleeping rough, with no money on her Oyster card and no access to her phone or bank cards.

This was one working hypothesis and officers were keeping an open mind to all possibilities, the Met said.

Ms Davies had last been seen on July 7 after leaving her family home in Grays, Essex, on July 4, having told her mother she was going to the gym.

She was found asleep in a doorway in Clarendon Road, Croydon, on July 6 while waiting for a friend, but told Metropolitan Police officers that she did not need help and left.

Her family had reported her disappearance, but Ms Davies had not been marked as a missing person on the police database at that time.

Mr Brogden said this would be among the aspects of the case to be looked at in the review of the investigation.

Both Mr Brogden and Det Ch Insp Penney said they were “ecstatic” at the outcome of the case. The Met Commander said: “More importantly, I'm pleased for Owami's mother and her brother.

“There's obviously the police national computer, but I think the specifics of it we will look into as part of the review into this missing persons investigation.

“Aspects of when she was put into the police national computer I will review with colleagues.”

Five people were arrested and bailed in connection with her disappearance — two on suspicion of murder and three on suspicion of kidnap — but police said there was no evidence that she had come to harm.

Officers confirmed on Tuesday that all five were released and are still on police bail, with a decision on what will happen next following a “full debrief”.

Det Ch Insp Penney said the Met would speak to Ms Davies and try to establish what led to her disappearance.

“Owami will be spoken to and we'll try to fathom reasons as to how she disappeared, why she disappeared, and if there was any concern around the days and weeks while she was disappeared for us to be concerned about,” he said.

He believed Ms Davies “probably was” aware of the scale of the search for her, given the amount of publicity the case attracted.

Mr Brogden said: “Obviously we'll be dealing compassionately with Owami from this point onwards, with partner agencies, but great news here.”

Updated: August 24, 2022, 2:30 PM
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