A 20-year-old man has been charged with the murder of a mum-of-two, whose body was found in bushes in East London last week.

Valentin Lazar, from Barking, has been charged with murdering Maria Rawlings, following the discovery of her body in Little Heath, Romford, on May 4, Scotland Yard said.

Police believe the 45-year-old was attacked after leaving the King George Hospital in Goodmayes, Ilford, the previous evening, walking to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12.

Lazar is due to appear in custody at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

A post-mortem examination found that Ms Rawlings had been strangled and had suffered head injuries.

Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier, who is leading the murder investigation, said: ‘My thoughts remain with Maria’s family at this incredibly difficult time.’

Anyone with information is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8345 3865 or by calling 101 or tweeting @MetCC, and quoting the reference CAD3551/4May.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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