A woman’s body found in a park yesterday is believed to be that of a nurse who disappeared two weeks ago.
The discovery comes while police are believed to be investigating a report of an ‘odd man’ stalking staff at the hospital where Petra Srncova worked.
Miss Srncova, 32, was last seen as she made her way home after finishing a shift at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital in Westminster on the evening of November 28.
She had travelled by bus to her address in Camberwell, south-east London, and was last seen in the area at 8.22pm.
Yesterday police were called to the nearby Brunswick Park after a group of children playing in the area were said to have made the grim discovery at around 11.40am.
While the body has not yet been formally identified, the Metropolitan Police said Miss Srncova’s family in her native Czech Republic had been ‘informed of this development’.
A spokesman added: ‘At this early stage, the woman’s death is being treated as unexplained.’
Her MP Harriet Harman, who had handed out missing posters on Saturday, said: ‘Body found in small park near where Petra lived. So, so sad.’
A body has been found in the hunt for missing nurse Petra Srncova (pictured) at a south London park, close to where she vanished two weeks ago
Missing person posters (left) were placed around London in a desperate bid to find the nursing assistant after she was last seen 2 weeks ago and yesterday MP Harriet Harman (right) spoke about her disappearance
The area was cordoned off yesterday while forensic investigators erected a blue tent as they worked into the night.
Responding to an appeal for more information on social media, an NHS worker said a nurse had told her she was being followed as she left the hospital.
‘I was on the phone to her, she told me not to get off (the call) and pretended to be meeting me at the station because she had an odd man following,’ the paediatric nurse tweeted to the Met.
The force has made contact with this health worker and said investigators are interested in any information the public can provide.
Police had grown increasingly concerned for her welfare and had issued a desperate appeal for anyone who had seen her and knew of her whereabouts to get in contact with them. Pictured left: Police at the scene in Brunswick Park
Miss Srncova is believed to have been wearing a green coat and carrying a red backpack when she left the hospital, which is across the Thames from Parliament, at 7.45pm on November 28.
Police said she withdrew money from a cashpoint before boarding a bus towards Elephant and Castle.
Miss Srncova then changed to a bus travelling southbound towards her home address.
A colleague raised the alarm on December 3 after she failed to turn up for work at the children’s hospital, which is part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
The South London park is in lockdown after the discovery of the body this morning
Police have informed Ms Srncova’s family of the development but formal identification has yet to take place. Pictured: The police cordon at the scene in Brunswick Park today
Selda Kayam, 36, resident and mother-of-two told MyLondon that it was her friend’s children who had discovered the body in the park this morning.
She said: ‘It’s quite scary for us, we feel like we’re not safe anymore.
‘I’m not really feeling comfortable. I’m not sure if I would take my children back to that park.
‘When my friend’s kids were running around the park, that’s when they saw it. It’s really shocking.’
And another person living in the area called Fred said he was feeling ‘unsettled’.
He also said there was a murder in the area about a month ago before this latest incident.
The man said he has not had trouble in the area but has been left unsettled knowing the body was discovered opposite his house.
Reacting to yesterday’s development, the trust and Evelina tweeted: ‘This is extremely sad and worrying news regarding the disappearance of our colleague.
‘Our thoughts are with Petra’s family, friends and colleagues at this hugely difficult time.’
The Czech Embassy in London said: ‘We would like to express our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased Czech citizen.’
A man arrested and taken into custody in connection with her disappearance was released on bail over the weekend pending further inquiries.
Investigations are ongoing by forensics (left and right) but many residents have been questioned by police