Joy Morgan: Body found in woodland confirmed as murdered student

A body found in woodland in Stevenage has been confirmed to be that of murdered student midwife Joy Morgan.

The 20-year-old was killed last December by Shohfah-El Israel, 40, a worshipper she met at Israel United In Christ church in Ilford.

Ms Morgan, who lived in Hatfield where she was studying at the University of Hertfordshire, was last seen on Boxing Day and reported missing on February 7 after failing to return to her studies.

Remains found in woodland in Stevenage on Saturday were confirmed to belong to Ms Morgan on Thursday by Hertfordshire Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Justine Jenkins said: “My thoughts are with Joy’s family at this difficult time and while nothing can end their pain, I hope that this gives them closure and I am glad that they will now have the opportunity to say goodbye to Joy.”

Israel was jailed for at least 17 years in August, but Ms Morgan’s body remained missing.

During his trial, the jury heard Israel had lied to the police when he was arrested.

He said that he had dropped Ms Morgan off at her student accommodation at the University of Hertfordshire after dinner at church on December 26.

But he later said he had spent two nights at his Cricklewood flat with Ms Morgan, claiming that he misled police because he had broken church rules preventing women being alone with men who were not their husbands.

After her death, Israel tried to cover his tracks by returning to Ms Morgan’s home in Hatfield and pretending to check on her.

The murdered student’s phone was last detected on December 28 near Stevenage.

Reading Crown Court heard that at this point Israel was most likely “looking for somewhere to dispose of the body”.

The keys to her accommodation were discovered in the foot well of his car after his arrest in February.

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