Horrifying footage has captured the moment a woman was grabbed off the street by her suspected killer and forced towards the bush where she was later found dead.
The body of Maria Jane Rawlings, 45, who lived in Chelmsford, Essex, was found in shrubbery near Little Heath in Romford at around 2pm on Tuesday.
Security camera footage obtained by MailOnline captures the final moments of mother-of-two Ms Rawlings before she was bludgeoned and strangled to death.
It comes as the Metropolitan Police tonight prepared to issue an image of a man they wish to speak with about her death.
The CCTV clip, taken from a nearby house on the day before Ms Rawlings’ body was found, shows the grandmother walking on Barley Lane at 11.17pm on Monday.
She had just left the nearby King George Hospital.
Maria Jane Rawlings (pictured above), 45, from Chelmsford, Essex, was found dead in Little Heath, Romford, by a man who was walking his dog at around 2pm on Tuesday
Security camera footage obtained by MailOnline captures the final moments of mother-of-two Ms Rawlings before she was bludgeoned and strangled to death
Footage shows a male in dark clothing walking behind Ms Rawlings and quickening his step to catch up with her. When he reaches her, he forces his arm around hers.
She resists slightly but he forces her towards the shrubbery on a green near the busy A12. Just as they disappear from view a white car drives past.
Ms Rawlings’ body was found in the bush at 2pm on Tuesday by a man out walking his dog.
A post-mortem examination at Walthamstow Mortuary gave the preliminary cause of death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma.
The homeowner who gave MailOnline his security footage did so in order to help trace the man seen with Ms Rawlings in the minute-long clip.
In the clip, a male in dark clothing walks behind Ms Rawlings and quickens his step to catch up with her. When he reaches her, he forces his arm around hers
She resists slightly but he forces her towards the shrubbery on a green near the busy A12. Just as they disappear from view a white car drives past
Mrs Rawlings was last seen in King George Hospital in Goodmayes, Ilford, on Monday evening. She left hospital and made her way on foot to Barley Lane in the direction of the A12
He has also appealed to the driver of the white car to contact police if he has a dash cam or if he saw anything untoward as he drove past.
The homeowner has given the footage to the Metropolitan Police and believes the man was seen walking away from the area at about 11.43pm.
Ms Rawlings lived 20-miles away from Little Heath in Chelmsford, Essex.
Her devastated family yesterday left flowers by the bush where her body was found, with a message attached to one bouquet reading: ‘Mummy. I love you now, forever and always.
‘In this s*** world you made things brighter. Forever my angel. Your Big Baby.’
Another note read: ‘I can’t believe this has happened. I love you so much, please be at rest.’
And a touching message from her grandsons read: ‘Nanny, we love you soo much, we will never forget you. Your boys.’
Flowers left at Little Health in Romford, east London, where Ms Rawlings was found dead. A message attached to one bouquet read: ‘Mummy. I love you now, forever and always’
Detectives believe someone may have approached her after she left the hospital. There have been no arrests, the Met said as the force appealed for information (scene pictured)
Ms Rawlings’ family are being supported by specialist officers.
Detective Chief Inspector David Hillier, who is leading the investigation, said: ‘My team and I are working around the clock following a number of inquiries in our work to establish what happened to Maria.
Her family are understandably distraught and we are doing all we can to help them as they begin to come to terms with their loss.
‘Now I am asking for the public to help us. I want to hear from anyone who knew Maria and knows about where she had been and who she had been associating with.
‘Have you seen her in the area in the company of another person? Had you recently heard or seen a disturbance or struggle in the area but did not think it significant at the time?
Little Health in Romford, London. A post-mortem examination gave the woman’s preliminary cause of death as neck compression and possible blunt force head trauma, the force said
‘You might have dash-cam or doorbell footage that could have captured her – please think carefully and, if you can help, contact police.’
Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman, BCU commander for Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, said: ‘I understand the concerns around safety that will arise from this, particularly from women, and we have increased patrols in the area from our local policing teams.
‘Community safety remains a high priority and I urge anyone who has any concerns to speak to my officers when you see them or contact us.’
The shrubbery is at the edge of an open area of grass in front of New City College’s Redbridge Campus and close to a care home.
Amina Ali, 35, who lives opposite, said police closed the street on Tuesday and forensic investigators were on scene.
She said: ‘It’s been quite traumatic. It’s usually such a nice quiet area. I walk past that shrubbery every day to get to school and back. It was a shock for us.’