London

Alice Gross death: Inquest opens

Alice Gross Image copyright PA
Image caption Alice Gross, from Hanwell, in west London, disappeared on 28 August

The inquest into the death of 14-year-old Alice Gross has opened.

The murdered schoolgirl's mother Rosalind Hodgkiss, 50, was at West London Coroner's Court for the brief hearing as the inquest was opened and adjourned.

Alice, from Hanwell, in west London, disappeared on 28 August. Her body was found on 30 September.

The court heard Alice's body was found by London Fire Brigade divers, wrapped and weighted down in the River Brent.

A post-mortem examination into the teenager's cause of death proved inconclusive and more tests are being carried out.

Coroner's officer John Chadwick told the court Alice had been identified through dental records.

Police are currently investigating her murder.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Alice's body was discovered by divers on the bed of the River Brent

Coroner Chinyere Inyama adjourned the hearing to 29 January next year.

He said: "Clearly there are other investigations ongoing, including the police inquiry."

Arnis Zalkalns, the prime suspect in the killing, was found hanged in a west London park on 4 October.

The 41-year-old Latvian builder had served seven years in prison in his native country for bludgeoning and stabbing his wife Rudite to death, before moving to the UK in 2007.

The hunt for Alice was the largest Met Police search operation since the 7/7 terrorist bombings in 2005, involving officers from 17 other forces.

On Thursday, the Met Police's Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey defended the amount of time it had taken to find the teenager.

"When you have search parameters of this size, it takes an awful long time," Mr Mackey told the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee.

"And there is not a huge amount of experience across the country of doing this.

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