Colindale murder
The entrance to the allotments in Sheaveshill Ave, Colindale, London, which have been cordoned off by police. Google maps

A murder investigation has been launched after the body of an 80-year-old woman was found in a lock-up on a plot of allotments in north London.

London's Metropolitan Police (Met) were searching for an elderly woman who had been reported missing when they discovered the body in the early hours of Tuesday (28 February).

Detectives attended the allotments, in Sheaveshill Avenue, Colindale, and found the woman at a lock-up on the site at around 2am.

It was reported that the woman was reported missing just 20 minutes earlier, at 1.40am, and she was confirmed dead at the scene.

An incident room has been opened under Detective Chief Inspector Noel McHugh, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command.

The officer said in a statement: "At this stage we are keeping an open mind about any possible motive and would ask any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

"I make a direct appeal to anyone with links to these allotments who would have visited or had been in or around the area throughout Monday, into the early hours of the following morning.

"An elderly woman lost her life in the most tragic way possible and was left inside a storage unit similar to a garage. If you know anything please contact us."

Following the woman's death a post-mortem examination took place at Northwick Park Hospital on Wednesday 1 March.

Formal identification of the body has not yet taken place although the woman's next of kin have been informed of her death.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "A murder investigation has been launched following the discovery of an elderly woman's body at allotments in Colindale.

"At around 2.05am on Tuesday officers attended the allotments in Sheaveshill Avenue as part of searches for an 80-year-old woman who was reported missing at 1.40am.

"As a result of the searches officers found a body in a lock-up store. The woman was confirmed dead at the scene. Next of kin are aware but formal identification awaits."