A caretaker from Woolwich has been convicted of murdering a 24-year-old woman whose body has never been found. 

Mark Moodie, 55, is believed to have placed Maureen Gitau’s body in a bin then incinerated it at a rubbish processing plant. 

Ms Gitau disappeared on December 5 last year after she left her aunt’s birthday party at the home they shared in Deptford

On Thursday (November 16) Moodie, of Nightingale Place, was found guilty of her murder. 

News Shopper: Maureen Gitau disappeared after leaving her aunt's party in DeptfordMaureen Gitau disappeared after leaving her aunt's party in Deptford (Image: Met Police)The trial heard that Ms Gitau left the party, where she was said to have been “in a good mood, playing with the children”, to meet Moodie. 

They had previously met while working together on a cleaning job and had kept in touch by phone. 

Phone records show that Moodie took her to Richmond House in Deptford and she never left the building alive. 

News Shopper: Mark Moodie and Maureen Gitau at Richmond HouseMark Moodie and Maureen Gitau at Richmond House (Image: Met Police)Prosecutor Jocelyn Ledward said Moodie was seen moving a large communal waste bin around the basement of Richmond House in Deptford, and it was later seen outside the cleaners’ room by some of the block’s residents. 

He then put it back in the bin store and covered her body up with rubbish before it was taken to a processing plant on Landmann Way in Deptford where it was “inevitably” incinerated, the prosecutor said. 

Maureen was reported missing on December 10 and officers spent days tracing her movements though phone and CCTV. 

News Shopper: Mark Moodie moving rubbishMark Moodie moving rubbish (Image: Met Police)Moodie was spoken to by on the phone by officers on December 14 and it soon became apparent he had lied. 

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Blackburn, of the Metropolitan Police, said a large-scale search was launched to find Ms Gitau’s body. 

This involved 125 trucks carrying 2,750 tonnes of waste being transported to the police search site in Essex, with 60 officers each day involved in the operation, which totalled 20,000 search hours in total. 

Ms Blackburn said: “My thoughts today are with Maureen’s family, who have been cruelly prevented from putting a much loved daughter, sister, niece and cousin to rest. 

“I am glad we have been able to bring to justice the man responsible for her death. 

“Mark Moodie murdered Maureen and then disposed of her body. 

“He has never admitted any responsibility and told lie after lie after lie. 

“He is a contemptible individual and I am glad the jury has seen through his deceit and found him guilty of Maureen’s murder. 

News Shopper: Mark MoodieMark Moodie (Image: Met Police)

“My team spent many months investigating Maureen’s murder, their professionalism and dedication is just one example of the Met’s determination to bring killers to justice. 

“The CCTV alone was a huge part of the investigation, officers watched approximately 500 hours of CCTV to find out what had happened to Maureen. 

“Once we realised how Moodie had disposed of Maureen’s body, we carried out one of the largest searches of waste the Met has ever seen. 

“We were desperate to find her, for the sake of her family, and it will always be a regret that she was gone by the time we understood what Moodie had done with her body.” 

Moodie will be sentenced on a date to be set.