The mother of an ex-girlfriend of Arnis Zalkalns - the prime suspect in the Alice Gross murder investigation - has told ITV News the Latvian builder is not a violent man.
Gunta Meiere said her daughter has spoken to the police about Zalkalns and that she was "in shock" over his connection with the Alice case.
Liga Rubezniece first came into contact with Zalkalns when he started writing to her from a prison in Latvia - where he was serving a sentence for murdering his wife in 1998.
After he was released from prison, the builder went to live with Liga in Liepaja before moving to the UK in 2008 when the financial crisis hit Latvia.
Their relationship subsequently ended when Liga, who has two children with Zalkalns, discovered he was living with another woman in London.
The builder made a €300-per-month payment to Liga in order to support their children, however the last deposit was made in August this year shortly before he went missing.
Asked whether Zalkalns was a violent man, Ms Meiere replied:
However, Ms Meiere did ask her daughter whether Zalkalns had ever hit her and Liga replied that she would protect herself if necessary.
Police searching for Alice launched a murder investigation today after a body was found in the River Brent.
Scotland Yard Commander Graham McNulty said "significant attempts" had been made to conceal the body.
The 14-year-old girl was last seen on August 28 and her disappearance has sparked the Metropolitan Police's biggest search operation since the 7/7 bombings.
Alice was last seen on CCTV walking next to the Grand Union Canal.
Zalkalns was seen in the same area 15 minutes later riding his bike.