Detectives investigating the murder of a teenage boy in Penge are returning to the scene today, Thursday 1 November, to make a public appeal for information to mark the first anniversary of his death.
Michael Jonas, above, was attacked and stabbed multiple times in Betts Park on the evening of Thursday, 2 November, 2017. He was just 17-years-old.
Officers administered first aid but despite efforts to revive him, he was pronounced dead at the scene just after 8.15pm.
On Monday, 15 January the CPS in consultation with the Met dropped murder charges against six people due to insufficient evidence.
The ongoing investigation is being led by Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard of the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command and officers are renewing their appeal for new information alongside CCTV footage of five male suspects riding bikes.
A £20,000 reward is available for anyone who has any information that leads to the identification, arrest and prosecution of the person/s responsible for the murder of Michael Jonas in November last year.
DCI Richard Leonard said: “It has been one year since the brutal killing of Michael Jonas.
“This young man, who had his whole life ahead of him, was taken from his family and friends far too soon and in the most unjust way.
“I want to make it clear that my team and I will not stop hunting down those responsible for this hideous crime.
“I am confident that the answers to Michael’s death lie within the community and there are people out there who witnessed and know what happened in the lead up to Michael’s death.
“We need those people to come forward and help us gain the evidence we need to get justice for both Michael and his family who are enduring a huge amount of pain and suffering as a result of this vicious attack.
“What we have established so far is that on the evening of Michael’s death, he was walking alone through Betts Park when he was chased and killed by a group of males.
“Just twenty minutes before Michael’s murder, a group of males pictures in the CCTV released travelled from McDonalds in Penge to Annerley Way; the road just outside the park where Michael died a short while later.
“These suspects also match the description provided by those who witnessed Michael being chased in the park.
“I would like to reassure the public that any information, no matter how small, will be treated in the strictest confidence.”
Suspect one is described as a black male, riding a BMX style bike with a silver frame and red writing.
The second suspect is described as a black male, riding a bike with silver coloured handles.
The third suspect is described as a black male, riding a black framed bike with a brown saddle and reflector on the wheels.
Suspect four is described as a white male, riding a mountain style bike with a rear mud guard and thick black tyres.
Suspect five is described as a light skinned black male with a plait hairstyle, riding a black framed bike with silver mud guards. The rear wheel is also described as having a metal frame and a flashing red light at the back.
In a statement Michael’s father, Michael said: “The death of my son Michael Jonas has destroyed my family. Michael was just a boy. He had only just turned 17 years old when he was taken away from us in the most brutal way. Michael’s siblings are still in shock and I have struggled to explain his death to them.
“My family and I are still devastated. Please help the police to find those responsible.
“Police and prison is not the only solution to the problem we are facing with violence on our streets. We also need the people of our communities to do the right thing and help us get justice for Michael.
“Remember that as law abiding citizens of this country, passing on information that helps tackle crime does not make you an informer or a snitch, you’re just doing what you know is right.
“It only makes sense to help keep our surroundings and families safe. Don’t believe it can’t happen. Never say never. Let us stand in this together and help reclaim back our community that we know and love.
“We are holding an appeal on Thursday, 1 November at Betts Park and hope you can make it. One love.”
Anyone with information about this incident should call the incident room on 020 8721 4843 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.