Joy Morgan murder: Grieving mother appeals to Cricklewood killer to reveal where her daughter’s body is located

Shohfah-el Israel. Picture: Herts Police

Shohfah-el Israel. Picture: Herts Police - Credit: Archant

The mother of a murdered midwifery student has pleaded with her daughter’s Cricklewood killer to reveal the location of her body.

Missing Joy Morgan has links to Cricklewood. Picture: Herts Police

Missing Joy Morgan has links to Cricklewood. Picture: Herts Police - Credit: Archant

Married father Shohfah-El Israel, 40, of Fordwych Road, was jailed for life on Monday after he was found guilty of murdering 20-year-old Joy Morgan, who went to his church.

Her body has never been recovered, despite extensive police searches of hundreds of acres of land in Hertfordshire.

Speaking outside Reading Crown Court, Ms Morgan's mother Carol said: "Give me my baby back, he knows where she is.

"The way I hear it he was besotted with her... if he loved her give her back up to us so I can bury my daughter.

"If I get to see her before I die I'll be very grateful."

Israel, whose birth name is Ajibola Shogbamimu, was told he must serve at least 17 years in prison after he was convicted of murdering Ms Morgan after spending time alone with her - against strict church rules - in December.

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In a statement Carol said: "Joy was such a wonderful person, selfless, caring and so many other great qualities that I can't list them all.

She was loved by so many. She was a loving daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and god daughter and god mother…….we all loved her so much.

"She was her big brother's little helper and an all-round great helper to all of us.

"She would always look after me when I came home from a long shift and cooked us lovely home cooked meals.

"Joy was living her dream of university life. She had one year left to go at university to become a midwife. Joy was a natural at it as she was such a caring woman and I know she would have made an amazing midwife.

"She was my shining light and my super star."

The court heard how Joy and Israel both attended the same church in Ilford and became close friends, with Israel regularly giving Joy lifts to and from church. It was at a church celebration on Boxing Day last year that Joy was last seen.

Joy was due to stay at Israel's home with his family after the celebration but after arriving at the property in Luton, Bedfordshire, decided that she wanted to go back to her university accommodation in Hatfield. Israel agreed to give her a lift back.

Joy was not seen since and her bank account has never been accessed again. She never returned to her student accommodation. Her flatmates later reported that her clean washing hadn't been taken out of the washing machine and this was seen to be out of character for her.

On December 28, Joy's phone number left the church WhatsApp group which caused concern.

Joy was reported missing by her mother, not the church, on February 7 and an extensive police investigation began.

The police investigation found that Israel's car was in the Hatfield area on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and Joy's phone became active again in the same area for a very short time before finally going off the network.

On February 9, Israel was arrested on suspicion of murder, re-arrested on February 26 and charged the following day.

Israel's red and black Honda vehicle was seized and in the passenger footwell, officers found Joy's keys to her accommodation.

Despite extensive searches carried out by specialist teams, Joy's body has never been found.

Sentencing Israel on Monday afternoon Judge Michael Soole said: "Only you know the circumstances of your terrible deed and why you did it.

"You are evidently an intelligent man and have said nothing beyond the lies and the explanations which the jury has rejected.

"The court has heard the most moving personal statement from Joy's mother Carol Morgan, which speaks of Joy's warm, loving and caring personality and character.

"On top of all this must be the very particular and continuing distress and suffering which flows from your cruel and cowardly silence about Joy Morgan's final resting place."

Det Insp Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire (BCH) Major Crime Unit, said: "I am glad that the jury have come to this decision. Joy's family have been through the most unimaginable turmoil and continue to do so and have missed poignant milestones such as her 21st birthday and her final year of university.

"While the trial has concluded, I would like to remind the public that Joy's body has not been found yet and anyone with information should still get in touch with us so that we can help give Joy's family some closure.

"If you have any information, no matter how small it might seem, please call us on 101."