A post-mortem examination has suggested that a man found stabbed to death in a flat in Croydon may have inflicted the injuries himself, police have said. The body of a 39-year-old man was found in a property in Leslie Grove Place just after 6pm on Thursday (April 21).
A murder investigation was launched and three men were arrested on suspicion of murder. However, all three have now been released on bail and the investigation will now be no longer be handled by the Specialist Crime Command team.
Residents in the street have told MyLondon the body may have been there for several weeks before the grim discovery with one saying he had witnessed a man kicking down the door to discover the body, and says they told police on the phone he’d been there for some time “with a knife in his chest”.
READ MORE: Six stabbed and one dead in Croydon in dark week for the borough
A 51-year-old resident, who did not wish to be named but lives right next to the crime scene, said: “I saw two guys in the street shouting [on Thursday night]. They were on the phone to the police. One of them went up to the door and kicked it down in two kicks.
“As he went inside, he was talking to police on the phone saying something to the fact that the body had been there for weeks with a knife in his chest. Within a few minutes a police van turned up and so did plain clothes officers. The people who entered the flat were arrested.”
Police have declined to comment on whether the body was in the flat for some time before it was discovered or whether the knife was found in his chest. The man has not been publicly identified. A crime scene cordon was in place from Thursday night and all day on Friday, with forensic officers combing for evidence at the scene.
The flat where the body was found sits next to a nursery. Residents in Leslie Grove said they have been complaining about antisocial behaviour on the street for some time.
One resident told MyLondon: “It was a lovely neighbourhood, the type of place you could pop next door if you need anything. But in last five to six years it’s gone downhill.
“Me and my wife Sarah have lived here since 2012 but we’re moving out. A neighbour was threatened with a knife. There’s constant drugs deals and prostitution. There was an incident where the nursery had to get railings put up because people were drinking and doing drugs on their property.”
Officers continue to appeal for anyone with information to come forward, either by calling 101 with the reference 6339/21APR or by contacting Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
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