Joel Urhie: Four years after seven-year-old murdered and still no justice

The fourth anniversary of the murder of seven-year-old boy Joel Urhie who died in a house fire has renewed an appeal for help from police.

On August 7, 2018 emergency services were called to a fire at the house in Adolphus Street, Deptford where Joel lived with his family.

Joel’s body was found by emergency services in the upstairs bedroom he shared with his mother.

His mother and older sister, who were also upstairs at the property, managed to escape by jumping from first floor windows.

A post-mortem examination conducted at St Thomas’ Hospital on August 8, 2018 found Joel’s injuries to have been consistent with fire and smoke inhalation.

A murder investigation was launched, and detectives believe the fire was started when a burning item was pushed through the letterbox.

Joel’s mother, Iroroefe O Edu, said: “It will be four years on August 7, 2022 since Joel died due to the fire thrown in the house. Up until now, the perpetrators of this atrocity and dastardly crime have not been unearthed.

“If you have any information, or know anything, or anyone, who may be responsible for causing the fire, can you come forward, please?

“With you coming forward, it will prevent the person/persons responsible from doing the same thing to another family.

“Joel was in his own house that is supposed to be a safe environment for him, when the fire incident that claimed his life happened. He was only seven years old.”

In August 2018, a 21-year-old man and a 29-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life. Both were later released with no further action.

In August 2020, three further men – aged 24, 21 and 22 – were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. They are currently released under investigation.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Rogers, from the Metropolitan Police, said: “Joel and his family should have been planning for him to go to secondary school next month. They will not have the opportunity to do what many other families will be doing at such a defining moment in a child’s life.

“Someone knows why this happened. I would ask that you search your conscience and do what is right. Joel’s family deserve answers, and an explanation as to why his future was stolen from him.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the dedicated incident room on 020 8345 3715, 101 or Tweet @MetCC.

Pictured top: Joel Urhie (Picture: Metropolitan Police)




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