A teenager died and one woman has been left fighting for her life following a knife attack in south west London.
Police were initially called to one house in Kingston-upon-Thames yesterday following a tip-off which expressed fears for the welfare of the two women.
However, after arriving, officers searched the address and found nothing – they then stood down.
Two hours later police had a call from staff at a hospital to say a woman aged in her 20s had been admitted suffering from stab injuries.
Detectives who were still making inquiries into the initial tip-off realised that the incidents were connected following further information.
A police spokesman said that later officers were called to another address where they found the body of a 19-year-old woman who had been murdered.
Forensic science experts and senior detectives were called to the house in Coombe Lane West, Kingston-on-Thames and a cordon was thrown around the property.
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that detectives had launched a murder investigation after the body was found at an address in Kingston and a second woman attended hospital with injuries.
He said: ‘On Wednesday, at approximately 5pm, officers received a call raising concerns for the welfare of two women.
‘Officers attended and carried out a number of inquiries which included a search of a residential property but there was no trace of either woman. Other inquires continued.
‘At 7.15pm police were alerted by staff at a south London hospital after a woman, believed to be aged in her 20s, had been admitted suffering stab/slash injuries.
‘The woman remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition.
‘As a result of information received, officers attended a residential address in Coombe Lane West, Kingston at around 8pm.
‘The body of a woman, believed to be aged 19 years, was found at the address.
‘Officers believe they know the identity of the deceased and next of kin have been informed.
‘A post-mortem examination and formal identification will be arranged in due course.’
The spokesman added that three people had been arrested as part of the investigation.
He said: ‘Two men, aged 33 and 28 years, have been arrested on suspicion of murder and a 29-year-old woman has been detained on suspicion of assisting an offender.
‘All three remain custody at separate police stations and will be questioned by officers from the Homicide and Major Crime Command.’
Detective Chief Inspector Samantha Price, leading the investigation, said: ‘We are doing everything we can to fully understand the circumstances of this despicable attack on two young women.
‘The death of the 19-year-old woman is being treated as murder and the attack on the 21-year-old is being treated as attempted murder.
‘We are appealing for anyone with information to contact us.
‘At this early stage it is believed the two victims were taken to an address before being attacked.