Mark Moodie, 55, from Nightingale Place in Woolwich, has been found guilty of the murder of 24-year-old Maureen Gitau at Woolwich Crown Court. Maureen’s disappearance in December last year led to an extensive police search, but tragically her body was never recovered.
Maureen was last seen alive on the evening of December 5, 2022, leaving her Deptford home to meet Moodie. The two had become acquainted while working together as cleaners and maintained contact via phone. Moodie, who also worked as a caretaker at a development in Blackheath Hill, Greenwich, had access to the cleaners’ storeroom at his workplace.
Phone records and CCTV footage revealed that Moodie had called Maureen, and they were seen meeting on Blackheath Hill. They subsequently went to the storeroom, where Moodie committed the murder. Moodie then concealed Maureen’s body in a large wheelie refuse bin, which was captured on CCTV as he moved the bin around the basement area wearing surgical gloves.
The refuse bin containing Maureen’s body was collected on December 8 and taken to a refuse site on Landmann Way in Lewisham. Before police could intervene, her body was incinerated as part of the waste processing.
Maureen was reported missing on December 10. Detectives embarked on an exhaustive investigation, tracing her movements through phone records and CCTV footage. Moodie was initially contacted by police on December 14, during which inconsistencies in his account became evident.
Utilizing CCTV and phone records, the police pieced together Moodie and Maureen’s movements, leading to Moodie’s arrest and subsequent charge for Maureen’s murder. His sentencing is scheduled for a later date.
DCI Kate Blackburn reflected on the case, expressing sympathy for Maureen’s family, who have been denied the chance to lay their loved one to rest. Blackburn commended the work of her team, highlighting their professionalism and dedication in the Metropolitan Police’s effort to bring perpetrators to justice. She noted that around 500 hours of CCTV footage were scrutinized during the investigation.
The search for Maureen’s body was one of the largest waste searches conducted by the Met. DCI Blackburn expressed regret that they were unable to recover Maureen’s body for her family due to the manner in which Moodie had disposed of it. Moodie’s refusal to admit responsibility and his continuous lies were condemned by Blackburn, who was relieved that the jury saw through his deceit and convicted him of Maureen’s murder.