A man has been convicted of the murder of Maureen Gitau, whose body was dumped in a wheelie bin and is yet to be found.
The disappearance of the 24-year-old woman in December last year from her home in Deptford led to one of the “largest searches of waste the Met has ever seen”, in a desperate attempt to find her body.
Yesterday, at the Woolwich Crown Court, Mark Moodie, 55, of Nightingale Place, Woolwich was convicted of the murder of Ms Gitau.
Ms Gitau was last seen on the evening of December 5, 2022, when she went to meet Moodie. She had met Moodie while they were working together as cleaners and they had kept in touch by phone.
Moodie was also employed as a caretaker on a development in Blackheath Hill, Greenwich, and had access to the cleaners’ storeroom.
Phones records show Moodie had called Maureen and CCTV recorded them meeting up on Blackheath Hill. Moodie and Maureen then went to the storerooms and, a short while after that, Moodie murdered her.
Moodie disposed of Maureen’s body by putting it in a large wheelie refuse bin, he was seen on CCTV moving a bin around the basement area wearing surgical type gloves.
The bin was collected on December 8 and Ms Gitau’s body was taken to a refuse site in Landmann Way, Deptford. The Met believe her body was incinerated before officers were able to stop the waste processing process.
CCTV and phone records were used to trace Moodie and Maureen’s movements and when officers had built a clear picture of what had happened, he was arrested and charged with Maureen’ murder.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
During the course of the Met’s search, 125 trucks of waste were transported to the police search site in Essex – totalling nearly 2,750 tonnes of rubbish, 60 police officers per day were involved in searching including teams from City of London Police, and 325 licensed search officers were involved in the search with just under 20,000 search hours in total.
Met Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn, said: “My thoughts today are with Maureen’s family, who have been cruelly prevented from putting a much loved daughter, sister, niece and cousin to rest. I am glad we have, been able to bring to justice the man responsible for her death
“Mark Moody murdered Maureen and then disposed of her body. He has never admitted any responsibility and told lie after lie after lie. He is a contemptible individual and I am glad the jury has seen through his deceit and found him guilty or Maureen’s murder.
“My team spent many months investigating Maureen’s murder, their professionalism and dedication is just one example of the Met’s determination to bring killers to justice. The CCTV alone was a huge part of the investigation, officers watched approximately 500 hours of CCTV to find out what had happened to Maureen.
“Once we realised how Moodie had disposed of Maureen’s body, we carried out one of the largest searches of waste the Met has ever seen. We were desperate to find her, for the sake of her family, and it will always be a regret that she was gone by the time we understood what Moody had done with her body.”
Pictured top: Mark Moodie and Maureen Gitau at Richmond House in Blackheath before he went on to murder her (Picture: The Met)
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