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Man will stand trial for missing student Joy Morgan's murder and church issue statement

by Cara Bentley

The vehicle, pictured, which has been located, belongs to Shohfah-El Israel, aged 40, of Fordwych Road, London, who is charged with murder.

His real name is Ajibola Shogbamimu but he changed it by deed poll. 

He appeared at St Albans Crown Court on Friday morning and will next appear for a pre-trial preparation hearing on Friday 31st May with a trial set for Monday 8th July. 

Joy, who would have turned 21 last month, was a University of Hertfordshire midwifery student who was last seen at an event at her church - Israel United in Christ (IUIC) in Ilford on Boxing Day. 

The church is part of a wider movement in America and encourage members to change their real name to a Hebrew name when they commit and don't believe in celebrating Christmas or birthdays.

They hold specific views on race, saying on their website: 'Our goal is to change the heart and minds of our people. Blacks and Hispancis must learn the truth that they are the Biblical 12 tribes of the nation of Israel.'

The New York branch of IUIC released a statement in relation to the investigation, saying: "local news reports...have misconstrued IUIC's involvment into the investigation of Joy Morgan's disappearance."

They say they: "spoke to our members and encouraged them to cooperate fully with the law enforcement investigation" and that any person accused of or charged with an offence will no longer be a member. 

They added that they would like to offer a reward for information leading to her whereabouts but were advised not to, to avoid hindering the investigation. 

"IUIC has no knowledge or information related to the whereabouts of Joy Morgan". 

It continues to say that scripture teaches not to harm anyone, whether they are a member of the church or not and that they condemn anyone who may be involved. 

IUIC add that they "would also condemn anyone who would use this situation to further their own personal agendas against the church", calling it "shameful and disgraceful". 

It ends: "IUIC prays for a quick and safe reunification between Joy and her family". 

Regarding the red car, Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: "We know that Joy used to travel in this vehicle which is highly distinctive and I am particularly interested to hear from anybody who saw this vehicle over the festive period and into the New Year.

"If you recall seeing the vehicle during this period please call us with the circumstances and location.

"Any information you have about the vehicle, including when and where you saw it, could be vital to the investigation. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you think you might be able to help."

Joy had links to Ilford, Battersea, Cricklewood, Stevenage and Luton. Her body has not yet been found and enquiries are on-going.

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