A female body found in a Hertfordshire woodland has been identified as murdered student midwife Joy Morgan.
Following the identification, the 20-year-old student’s heartbroken family said they have been ‘living in a nightmare’ since her disappearance and that they will ‘always be proud’ of their ‘star’.
Joy was murdered just after Christmas last year by fellow church-goer, 40-year-old Shohfah El-Israel.
The student, who had been living in Hatfield, was reported missing on February 7, after she didn’t show up to her classes at the University of Hertfordshire.
El-Israel was found guilty of her murder in August and is currently serving a life sentence, with a minimum term of 17 years.
But her killer always refused to reveal the location of her body, with the judge condemning El-Israel’s ‘cruel and cowardly silence’ about his victim’s ‘final resting place’.
A member of the public called the police at 7.43am on Saturday to report they had found what they suspected to be a human body in Stevenage.
The body was later found in woodland, just outside of an area previously searched by officers.
A post-mortem carried out on Tuesday could not establish a cause of death and further tests are scheduled, police said.
Joy’s mother Carol Morgan, said: ‘Joy was so beautiful and completely lived up to her name – she brought joy to all our lives.
‘Our family has been living a nightmare and we miss her so, so much.
‘Joy was studying to be a midwife and would have graduated by now. I know she would have been amazing as a midwife.
‘I was so proud of her and I always will be. She was our star.’
Detective Chief Inspector Justine Jenkins, said: ‘My thoughts are with Joy’s family at this difficult time and while nothing can end their pain, I hope that this gives them closure and I am glad that they will now have the opportunity to say goodbye to Joy.’
El-Israel, whose birth name is Ajibola Shogbamimu, and Joy spent time alone together before he killed her.
The 40-year-old then tried to cover his tracks by removing her number from a church Telegram group chat to make it appear she had left the close-knit religious group.
Israel even kept up the pretence by going to her student house share under the guise of checking on her in the days after she apparently went missing.
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