EXCLUSIVE: Witness thought man’s dying body was a Halloween dummy
- Credit: Archant
The mother of two who discovered a dying 27-year-old man lying topless in her driveway last Friday thought it was just a Halloween prank.
Victor Banjo Ogundunmade, from Newham, was found by a resident outside her house in Auckland Road, Ilford, before she got into her 23-year-old son’s car.
Mr Ogundunmade was seen around 90 minutes after Polish national Magdalena Welna was murdered on the same evening 600 metres away in Valentines Road, Ilford.
He died shortly after arriving at hospital.
“As the back car lights went on I could see the guy lying in the corner of the drive,” said the resident, who did not wish to be named. “He did not have a top on - all I could think was ‘oh my God - it is Halloween’.
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“I thought someone was playing a trick on us and it was just a dummy.
“It was the first time I had seen a body like that - it was terrible. I was upset and I was crying. It was nerve wracking and a bit scary.”
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The resident said her first concern was to stop a group of children walking along Auckland Road from seeing Mr Ogundunmade on the floor.
She said: “They were trick or treating and I did not want them to be scared.”
Emergency services spent an hour and a half at the scene trying to resuscitate Mr Ogundunmade, according to the resident.
Police confirmed an “unidentified” white powder substance was also found on Mr Ogundunmade, which has been sent off for testing.
The apparent murder-suicide took place within 90 minutes of each other on Friday, with Ms Welna pronounced dead on arriving at hospital.
It is believed the pair had previously been in a relationship and Ms Welna had spoken of Mr Ogundunmade to colleagues at the Rossmore Hotel where she worked as a receptionist.
Police confirmed Ms Welna, a Polish national, and Mr Ogundunmade, from Newham, were known to each other.
Post-mortems on both bodies will be carried out within the next few days after the results on the powder have come back.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said:“The death of the woman, who had suffered multiple stab wounds, is being treated as murder.
“At this early stage, there is no evidence to suggest that the death of the man is suspicious.
“Inquiries continue to establish the full circumstances.”