Student nurse Owami Davies has been found “safe and well” in Hampshire almost eight weeks after she went missing, the Metropolitan Police has said.
Owami Davies, 24, left her home in Grays, Essex, on 4 July and was reported missing to Essex Police two days later by her family.
She had last been seen walking north along London Road in Croydon on 7 July, and fears had been growing over her safety.
On Tuesday, DCI Nigel Penney from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command said: “This is clearly the outcome we were hopeful for – the finding of the missing lady, Owami Davies.
“I’d like to say she has been found safe and well outside the London area in the county of Hampshire and she’s currently with specialist officers from my team.
“She looks in good health, she’s in a place of safety, and not currently in this vulnerable state that we were led to believe she was in at the start of her disappearance.”
Police were able to locate Ms Davies after a member of the public responded to a media appeal.
It was the 118th reported sighting and was received at 10:30am on Tuesday.
Police said Ms Davies appeared “fit and well cared for” and her family have been informed and have spoken to her.
They added officers would speak to her more fully in due course about her welfare.
The Metropolitan Police could face an investigation after it was revealed officers spoke to Ms Davies on the day she was reported missing on 6 July.
She was found asleep in a doorway in Clarendon Road, Croydon, but officers did not realise she was a missing person and let her go.
Officers were called to an address in Croydon over concerns about the welfare of a woman and requested an ambulance before speaking to her.
They said she did not want help and left the address before paramedics could attend.
Ms Davies had not been marked as a missing person on the police database at the time and police only later established that the woman was the student nurse due to their missing person investigation.
Police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, is considering investigating the police contact with Ms Davies that day.
Met Commander Paul Brogden said “all aspects” of the investigation are now to be reviewed to assess whether there is “any learning that we need to take” from how it was handled.
Despite the arrests of five people and numerous appeals for information, officers were struggling to locate Ms Davies as they trawled through 117 reported sightings of the 24-year-old.
Detectives said on Monday that Ms Davies could be sleeping rough, with no money on her Oyster card and no access to her phone or bank cards.
This was one working hypothesis, the Met said, adding that officers were keeping an open mind to all possibilities.
Five people were arrested and bailed in connection with her disappearance – two on suspicion of murder and three on suspicion of kidnap – but police said there was no evidence that she had come to harm.
Officers confirmed on Tuesday that all five were released and are still on police bail, with a decision on what will happen next following a “full debrief”.