Two weeks since a bright and popular nineteen year old was brutally stabbed to death, police have told the News they are still missing a key witnesses who helped the victim before he died.
An emotional plea was made by the mum of Andrew Oteng-Owusu one week from the day he was attacked near his home, close to the Millwall stadium, on August 3.
The detective leading the investigation said he was still looking at a “blank canvas”, with no new witnesses coming forward.
The former St Thomas the Apostle Catholic College pupil was targeted in the intersection of Hornshay Srteet and Lovelinch Close at 11.40pm. As he walked home from the local shop, he was fatally stabbed in his right leg.
Andrew was the “primary carer” of his mourning mum Tina Ababio, who suffers from diabetes and problems with her kidneys. Every day her son would help her use dialysis.
“Andrew was a very gentle, humble and polite young man, helpful to everyone he knew, especially in the neighbourhood,” said Ms Ababio, 44.
The teenager had aspired to study IT and business at university in September, and was hoping to be offered a place from the universities of Greenwich or Northampton. Police say he had “no links to gangs or involvement in crime of any kind”.
Detective Inspector Mick Norman of Lewisham Police told the News: “The key witness we are looking for is a young black male who, after the stabbing happened, walked with Andrew to the block of flats where he lived.
“He is aged in his late teens or early to mid-20s and was wearing a white T-shirt and New Era baseball cap.
“We are desperate to speak to him in whatever form he chooses.”
DI Norman said he still had no leads on what the motive could have been, and did not have any direct witnesses to the attack. He said it possibly could have been a case of mistaken identity.
The detective said their investigation had involved canvassing as many local residents who might have seen or heard what happened, as well as interviewing everyone they could. “It’s a four-storey estate,” DI Norman said. “Where it happened, the incident would have been overlooked by a couple of hundred flats.”
Despite making it to King’s College Hospital A&E, Andrew was pronounced dead at 11.30am the next morning.
Ms Ababio told the News her son was in a stable condition after surgery, but complications followed.
“The doctors told me they were going to open up Andrew’s chest because he was having problems breathing. But they couldn’t find the problem,” she said.
“He was given fourteen pints of blood. He had internal bleeding and the surgeons couldn’t find where it was coming from. That’s when they told me he couldn’t survive.”
DI Norman said although the stab wounds were inflicted on Andrew’s leg, as is often the case, “there is still a very real chance you will cause serious harm, whatever the intention”.
Ms Ababio told the News: “I don’t know what I’m going to do without him. He would help me with everything. He was so loving.
“Everyone on the estate knew Andrew because he would help anyone with crossing the road or carrying their bags. People I didn’t even know would tell me they knew my boy because he had helped them.
“Andrew mostly spent his time playing at home with his friends and with his computer. He would never do anything wrong.”
DI Norman said Ms Ababio was “holding it together remarkably well”. “She’s a lovely woman,” the officer said.
Andrew’s body has been taken in by the South London Coroner’s Service, and his mum has been informed that an inquest will follow.
Anyone with information who could help the police should call Lewisham Police Station on 020 8721 4961, or anonymously on 0800 555 111.