• Carol Waugh missing since mid-April
• Body has been formally identified
• Man, 47, in police custody
Carole Waugh, 50, originally from Durham, had not been seen by her family since mid-April and concerns for her safety grew after a fraudster tried to sell her central London flat by posing as her brother.
Suspicious financial transactions running to thousands of pounds have also been made using her identity since she vanished, and her Cartier jewellery is missing.
Scotland Yard confirmed last night that a woman’s body found in a car in a garage in Lime Court, New Malden, south-west London, on Thursday, was Miss Waugh’s.
A post-mortem examination found the cause of Miss Waugh’s death was a single stab wound, police added. They are appealing for information about the blue Volkswagen Golf.
Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane said: “We need to hear from anyone with information on the car, particularly since April this year.
“Anyone who can assist us on where it has been since then, or can advise on anyone with a connection to it, should come forward.”
Police announced on Wednesday that Miss Waugh’s disappearance was being treated as a murder inquiry and arrested a 47-year-old man on suspicion of kidnap, conspiracy to defraud and murder.
Miss Waugh, who owned a flat in Harrowby Street, Marylebone, was reported missing by her family on 7 May. They last saw her at a family party in mid-April.
She had lived and worked in Libya for a number of years, but returned to London in 2008 and would regularly visit relatives in Durham and Cumbria.
Detectives said she met men through a variety of internet sites, including dating websites, and they were investigating the possibility that she might have been an escort.
The lock-up is in a row of garages behind two detached 1930s houses.
Forensic teams were at the scene last night.
Matt Elcox, 17, who lives in a house backing on to the area, said: “I was woken by the sound of police cars late last night.
“I looked out of the window, but thought it was just a stolen car or something like that, so went back to bed. It is surprising because you don’t see much activity around the garages and certainly nothing suspicious.”
One man who has worked nearby for five years said the garages were mainly used for storage by builders:
“There have been some small problems with stolen goods being stored, but certainly no major crime,” he said.
Resident Karen Tucker, 28, said: “I had read about the missing woman, but did not think there was any link to this area. When I turned on the news this morning it came as a complete shock.
“We love living here because it’s nice and quiet with no
Walee Abdulla, 52, moved to the area three days ago. He said: “It seems like a nice area, so when I turned on the news this morning and saw they had found a body, it came as a complete surprise.”
So far, a total of ten people have been arrested in connection with the inquiry into Miss Waugh’s disappearance.
At least three women have tried to pose as her since she vanished, police said.
The man in custody was arrested when he came into Luton Airport on Tuesday, initially on suspicion of conspiracy to
defraud and kidnap, and then later murder.