Regent’s Canal death: Police appeal to trace witnesses

The man whose body was recovered from the Regent’s Canal has been named as Sebastiano Magnanini

The man whose body was recovered from the Regents Canal has been named as Sebastiano Magnanini - Credit: Archant

Police have issued an appeal for witnesses to piece together the last movements of Sebastiano Magnanini, whose tattooed body was discovered in the Regent’s Canal last week.

CCTV image showing the last sighting of Mr Magnanini at the Shakespeare Public House by Victoria Rai

CCTV image showing the last sighting of Mr Magnanini at the Shakespeare Public House by Victoria Railway Station at approximately 16:10hrs on Tuesday, September 22. - Credit: Archant

Mr Magnanini, who was working and living in south London, was last seen alive on Tuesday, September 22 as he travelled into central London on public transport.

It is thought he visited the Euston area at around 16.50 before travelling to Kings Cross and Caledonian Road at around 18.50.

Detective Chief Inspector Rebecca Reeves, who is leading the investigation for the Met’s Homicide and Major Crime Command (HMCC), said: “It is essential that we trace all those who came into contact with Mr Magnanini before he died.

“On Tuesday September 22, he finished work as a carpenter and then travelled into central London via Victoria, later making his way towards Kings Cross and the Caledonian Road. Someone may have vital information which could assist and we urge them to come forward and speak to us.”

The body of Magnanini, who is originally from Italy, was discovered by a member of the public on the morning of Thursday September 24 submerged in the canal, close to the entrance of Islington Tunnel.

A post-mortem examination took place at the Whittington Hospital on Friday September 25 and the cause of death is still unknown. Further toxicology tests are now underway.

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According to Italian news reports, Mr Magnanini, 46, was originally from Venice and had only been in London for a few months.

Newspaper La Repubblica said he was jailed for 18 months in 1998 over the 1993 theft of a painting, The Education of the Virgin, by 18th-century artist Giovanni Tiepolo from a church in Venice. The painting was reportedly worth two billion lire.

Mr Magnanini’s family in Venice have now been informed.

DCI Reeves added: “This has been devastating for Sebastiano’s family. He was a much-loved son and saw his family regularly as he travelled between Italy and London for work. His life in Italy, before coming to London, will inevitably form part of the investigation but at this early stage we are not looking at organised crime as a motive.

“We also ask anyone who may have been in the Muriel Street or Wynford Road area of Islington in the early hours of Thursday, September 24, near where he was found, and may have seen or heard anything suspicious to contact us.”

No arrests have been made and enquiries continue.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact police via the incident room on 020 8721 4868, alternatively, the police non-emergency line on 101 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.