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Home Breaking Officers trawl 500 hours of CCTV to secure murder conviction following the death of Maureen Gitau

Officers trawl 500 hours of CCTV to secure murder conviction following the death of Maureen Gitau

A man has been convicted of the murder of Maureen Gitau, whose disappearance led to a massive police search in a desperate attempt to find her body.

Today, 16 November at the Woolwich Crown Court, Mark Moodie, 55 of Nightingale Place, Woolwich was convicted of the murder of 24-year-old Maureen Gitau.

Maureen’s body has never been found.

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.”

During the course of the search:

  • 125 trucks of waste were transported to the police search site in Essex – totalling nearly 2,750 tonnes of rubbish
  • The search started on the 9th January and lasted until the 23rd February working Monday to Friday.
  • 60 police officers per day were involved in searching including teams from City of London Police.
  • 325 Licensed search officers were involved in the search with just under 20,000 search hours in total.

Despite this huge effort no trace of Maureen was ever found.

Maureen Gitau was last seen on the evening of Monday, 5 December 2022, when she left her home address in Deptford.

That evening she went to meet the defendant, Mark Moodie, 55 of Nightingale Place, Woolwich.

Maureen 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 Thursday, 8th December and Maureen’s body was taken to a refuse site on Landmann Way SE14. Maureen’s body was incinerated before officers were able to stop the waste processing process.

Maureen was reported missing on Saturday, 10 December and officers spent days tracing her movements though phone and CCTV. Moodie was spoken to by on the phone by officers on Wednesday, 14 December and it soon became apparent he had lied.

CCTV and phone records were used to trace Moodie and Maureen’s movements and when offices 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.

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