School ‘devastated' by suspected murder of teacher in south London

Photograph: Metropolitan Police/PA

A south-east London primary school has been left “devastated” by the suspected murder of one of its teachers after her body was found near a community centre on Saturday.

The Metropolitan police named the victim as Sabina Nessa, 28, from Kidbrooke, and said her death was being treated as murder. A man in his 40s who was arrested on suspicion of killing her has been released under further investigation.

Lisa Williams, the head of Rushey Green primary school in Lewisham, where Nessa worked, said she was a brilliant teacher.

“We are devastated by Sabina’s tragic death. She was kind, caring and absolutely dedicated to her pupils,” Williams added. “She had so much life ahead of her and so much more to give and her loss is desperately sad. As a school we are supporting each other through this very difficult time, and we will be providing specialist support to those who need it.”

Scotland Yard previously described the suspected murder as a “shocking incident”.

The Met said a postmortem carried out at Greenwich mortuary on Monday was inconclusive, and Nessa’s family had been told.

DCI Joe Garrity said initial inquiries suggested the attack happened in Cator Park at around 8.30pm on Friday, “a time when the park was likely being used by many people from dog walkers to joggers”.

Garrity urged anyone who might have been in the park around the time of the incident and seen someone acting suspiciously to contact police.

He said: “Sabina was found near the OneSpace community centre, which we know is a facility used by lots of people, and we would ask anyone who was in or around the area and who may have any information to come forward.

“Did you see someone loitering or acting suspiciously? Or did you see someone leaving the area in a hurry, perhaps running away? If you have any information, it is vital you tell us.

“We are working around the clock to deliver justice for the family of this young woman, and we need your help to do it.”

A number of crime scenes are in place and inquiries are ongoing.

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