French student's parents plea to London killer to surrender
The parents of one of the French students murdered in London issued an emotional appeal to the killer to turn in himself.7 July 2008
LONDON - The parents of one of the French students brutally murdered in London told their son's killer they would never stop searching for them Sunday, as police stepped up their search for leads one week on from the killings.
"Rest assured that we will not leave you in peace," Gabriel Ferez's parents Francoise and Olivier declared in a public statement to the on-the-run killer, who bound the two students and repeatedly stabbed them to death.
A week on from the savage killings in south east London, police have yet to announce a motive for the crime, the time of death or whether the attack was the work of one culprit.
Officers were stopping pedestrians and drivers in the cul-de-sac in New Cross, where the bodies of Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, both 23 and brilliant academics, were found in a burnt-out flat last Sunday.
Bonomo is thought to have been stabbed nearly 200 times while Ferez suffered around 50 wounds in a prolonged ordeal. Their bodies were found bound up.
Speaking at the scene, Detective Chief Inspector Mick Duthie, who is leading the investigation, told reporters that officers are still not sure exactly when the friends - both biochemists studying in London on an exchange - died.
"Laurent spoke to his fiancee around 1am (0000 GMT) on the Sunday morning,"
"After that, no-one heard from Laurent or Gabriel or saw them. It is important to stress that the attack could have taken place at any time during Sunday.
"We believe that anyone involved in this scene would have been bloodstained when they left the area."
The bodies were found late last Sunday night after emergency services were called to a fire and explosion.
Earlier, police released "with no further action" a 21-year-old man arrested in the street early Saturday.
They issued an e-fit of a man they said was seen running away from the scene.
Several locals described him as "white, between 30 and 40 years old, of slight or slim build and wearing a light coloured baseball cap and a dark top, blue jeans and white trainers," police said.
Duthie appealed for anyone who knew the man in the e-fit or who saw anything unusual near the scene that night to come forward.
Earlier Sunday, Ferez's parents Francoise and Olivier issued an emotional appeal to the killer or killers to hand themselves in.
"We plead with you to turn yourselves in to the police," they said in a statement.
"You will not be able to live in hiding forever. You may be scared and feel like a coward, but you must recognise this terrible mistake you made.
"Rest assured that we will not leave you in peace."
Duthie also revealed it could take weeks to complete a forensic examination at the scene.
One theory is that the deaths were linked to a burglary at the flat, rented by Bonomo, on June 23 in which a laptop was taken.
Police believe two Sony PSP games consoles have since been gone too and the victims' bank cards are missing.
Duthie said officers were looking at forensic material from the first burglary and appealed to whoever was behind that to come forward.
He pledged his team would do "all we can" to bring the killer or killers to justice, adding: "Hopefully we can do that sooner rather than later."
The students had been due to return to their university in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, later in July, where staff have described them as "brilliant".
Their deaths coincided with growing concern about the extent of knife and gang culture in London, which newly elected Conservative mayor Boris Johnson and Metropolitan Police chief Ian Blair have vowed to tackle.
A total of 18 teenagers alone have been knifed to death so far this year.
[AFP / Expatica]