LONDON — London police said Tuesday they “strongly believe” that they have pulled out from the River Thames the body of a man suspected of chemically attacking his former partner and her two young daughters, leaving the woman hospitalized with life-changing injuries.

The Metropolitan Police said the crew of a passing boat reported seeing a body in the water near the Tower of London on Monday afternoon. Detectives inspected the body after it was recovered by the Met’s Marine Policing Unit and concluded it was that of 35-year-old Abdul Ezedi.

Three weeks ago, police launched a nationwide manhunt for Ezedi, 35, after the attack in the Clapham area of south London on Jan. 31 that involved a strong alkali. Images of Ezedi captured after the attack revealed he suffered significant injuries to the right side of his face.

On Feb. 9, the Met said they thought Ezedi had probably “gone into the water” having watched closed-circuit television images.

“Based on the distinctive clothing he was wearing at the time of the attack and property found on his body, we strongly believe we have recovered the body of Ezedi,” said Commander Jon Savell on Tuesday. He added that formal identification by visual means, or via fingerprints, was not possible, given the time the body remained in water.

“We will work with the coroner on other ways to complete formal identification, such as DNA testing and dental records,” Savell said. “That may take some time.”

Savell said the condition of the 31-year-old mother of two has improved and they hoped to be able to speak to her as soon as she is well enough. He said she remains in the hospital in a stable condition but is no longer sedated.

Police said soon after the attack that the two children were not as badly injured as first feared.

British media reported that Ezedi is an Afghan refugee who was granted asylum despite being convicted of a sex offense in Britain in 2018. Ezedi’s asylum application was initially rejected, but later was permitted to remain in the U.K. after claiming that he had converted to Christianity, the Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.

The investigation into the attack is still ongoing.

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