Exclusive: Neighbour tells how police ‘dismantled mattress’ in 3am raid for missing student nurse Owami Davies

Student nurse Owami Davies has been missing for almost a month, and police have arrested three people on suspicion of murder in connection with her disappearance.

A neighbour has told how police “dismantled” a mattress in a frantic search for missing student nurse Owami Davies, after making a shocking 3am arrest.

Now neighbour Iman Salah, 42, has told how she saw a stand-off between police and a man at a property next door to her home in Derby Road.

“My heart was racing, I was so shocked,” she told LondonWorld.

“They were searching… they dismantled the mattress and looked inside it.”

Police outside the house in Derby Road, Croydon, during a dawn raid in the search for missing student nurse Owami Davies. Credit: Iman Salah

The semi-detached building has now been cordoned off, with a blue forensics tent erected outside, while police guard the scene from the road.

Police confirmed today that detectives were searching the house on the street where Owami was last seen.

Ms Salah, an insurance claims assessor who has lived in the road for two years, said officers arrived at 3am on Monday, August 1, and 20 minutes later arrested a man.

She said: “Police were chasing him to come out and then the police were there on the other side of the road wearing their body cameras.

“All the SWAT teams were at the house, from here, the garden, everywhere. They blocked all the windows.

“It was 3.20am when they arrested him - just one man.

Police are extremely concerned about missing student nurse Owami Davies, 24, from Grays, Essex. Photo: Met

“He was wearing a white shirt and an officer was holding him by a pole in the street. He was standing there watching him constantly.

“After that they put him cuffed into their car and I think they drove away. But no one has left the scene since that day.

“I could see it all from my window because I am on the top floor of the building.

“It was absolutely scary. I was so shocked - it was surreal.”

The police crime scene in Derby Road, Croydon, in the search for missing student nurse Owami Davies. Credit: LW

And Ms Salah, who lives at the address with her partner, continued: “The forensics came on Monday and they spoke with the police.

“The mum had a car, a black car, and they took the car away.

“My partner went to the shop around the corner. We know the owner and he said the police came to check my camera.

“We know the girl came from West Croydon station to Derby Road and they’ve seen from the CCTV camera, she didn’t exit the road.

“They were searching upside down the whole house.

“They dismantled the mattress. They removed it now but they opened it in half and looked inside it.”

The men arrested have been taken to a south London police station where they remain in custody.

Forensic officers outside the house in Croydon on Monday morning as part of the search for Owami Davies. Credit: Iman Salah

Owami’s family are being kept updated about the progress of the investigation, police said.

On Sunday, Det Con Marie Spear, from south London’s Missing Persons Unit, said that Owami was “in a vulnerable state” when she was last seen and urged people living in Croydon to check their sheds and outbuildings.

She said: “Owami’s family have not heard from her for more than three weeks and she has not turned up to work.

“We are currently treating this as a missing person investigation.

“Owami was in a vulnerable state when she was last seen and we need the public’s help in piecing together her movements on the night she went missing.

“I would urge anyone who has seen her, or knows where she is, to contact police immediately.

“I’d also ask people in the West Croydon area to check their sheds and outbuildings and report anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.”

Police outside the house in Derby Road, Croydon, in the search for Owami Davies. Credit: LW

Scotland Yard said in a statement: “A third man has been arrested in connection with the disappearance of Owami Davies, who was last seen in West Croydon.

“The 32-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder on August 2 at an address in South Croydon and remains in custody.

“This remains a missing person investigation and our priority is finding Owami.“On Monday, August 1, two men, aged 27 and 23, were arrested in the Croydon area in connection with the investigation.

“They were taken to a south London police station where they remain in custody.

“Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command are currently at a property in Derby Road as part of their enquiries into Owami’s disappearance.”

Any witnesses or anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 quoting reference 22MIS025307.

You can also provide information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers.