Chadwell Heath death: Barking man charged with murder of Maria Rawlings

Maria Jane Rawlings  was aged 45 and a mother of two daughters living in the Chelmsford area

A 20-year-old man from Barking has been charged with the murder of Maria Rawlings who was found in bushes in Chadwell Heath on May 4. - Credit: Met Police

A man has been charged with the murder of a mother-of-two whose body was found in Chadwell Heath.

Valentin Lazar, 20, from Barking, was charged on Monday evening and is due to appear in custody at Barkingside Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, May 11.

He is charged with murdering Maria Rawlings, 45, from Chelmsford, whose body was found in bushes in Little Heath on May 4.

Flowers have been laid at the bushes where the body of Maria Rawlings was discovered in Little Heath. 

Flowers have been laid at the bushes where the body of Maria Rawlings was discovered in Little Heath. - Credit: Roy Chacko

A post-mortem examination gave a preliminary cause of death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma.

Homicide detectives from the Specialist Crime Command are leading the investigation.

Flowers have been laid at the bushes where the body of Maria Rawlings was discovered in Little Heath. 

Flowers have been laid at the bushes where the body of Maria Rawlings was discovered in Little Heath. - Credit: Roy Chacko

Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the incident room on 020 8345 3865; via 101 or tweet @MetCC and quote CAD 3551/4May.

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