Police probe death of drowned boy, 17, in east London


olice have launched an investigation into the death of a teenager who drowned in a lake in east London.

Nicolae Topa, 17, “willingly” jumped into the water to go for a swim at the Fairlop Waters country park in Forest Road, Ilford around 12.30am on July 4.

Nicolae, from Chigwell, failed to return to shore and a massive Met police search, including the force helicopter and marine unit, alongside London Fire Brigade could not locate him.

His body was subsequently recovered from the water later on Monday evening.

Nicolae’s family, who said their hearts had been “broken in pieces”, were informed and continue to be supported by specialist officers.

A post-mortem examination took place and no formal cause of death was established. The results of further tests are awaited.

While this process takes place, Nicolae’s death is being treated as unexpected.

Detective Inspector Sean Treweek from the East Area Command Unit said: “This is an utterly tragic incident which has left Nicolae’s family and friends understandably devastated.

“Nicolae was with his friends that night and decided to enter the water on his own to swim. It was very dark and soon after he entered his friends lost sight of him.

“I know that Fairlop Waters is popular place for fishing and I would ask anyone who was there on the evening of Sunday, 3 July into the early hours of 4 July and may have heard or seen Nicolae in the water to get in contact so we can build as complete a picture of his last moments as possible.”

Cafe worker Nicolae’s aunt Nicoleta David, from Hornchurch, set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for his distraught mother and sister.

She wrote: “We all love you ever and forever.

“Our heart is broken in pieces with just the thoughts that you will never be back home again. Rest in peace my angel.”

Anyone with information that could assist police is asked to call 101, quoting CAD173/4July.

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