The family of a teenager who died after being stabbed are said to be “disappointed and saddened” by a lack of help from the community to catch his killer.
Ayodele Osifuwa, 17, died after being stabbed in the leg in a Chigwell estate on December 9.
Marcus Audain, 20, of no fixed address, was arrested in January and later charged with one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent, but the prosecution has now been dropped due to a lack of evidence.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Lucy Morris, said: “The enquiry team have been left frustrated with the response from people living on the Limes Farm estate, and equally the family are disappointed and saddened by the lack of community assistance.
“We definitely know that there a number of witnesses to the attack who have chosen not to speak to us or have been uncooperative.”
The incident occurred at the roundabout junction of Limes Avenue and Westmede shortly before 9pm.
Ayodele, from Plaistow, was taken to Royal London Hospital but died there on February 7.
A post-mortem examination was conducted in February, but the cause of death has not yet been released, pending the results of further examinations.
A 20-year-old man from Ilford and a 17-year-old boy from Walthamstow were arrested on suspicion of assault in December and are on bail until May 13.
Ayodele was a former pupil of Nightingale Primary School in Wanstead and Wanstead High School.
At the time of his death he was attending Kensington and Chelsea College and hoping to go on to university.
His family said: “He lived all his life within the love, care and affection of his parents, Adebayo and Bolanle, and his brothers Adeoye, Adetayo and Tiwalade. Ayodele was very much loved by his parents, siblings, extended family and friends due to his very likeable nature right from his childhood.
"Ayodele was a talented and aspiring footballer. He played for the football teams in both his primary and secondary schools. He also played for many youth football teams in Redbridge area and before his death he was playing for Grays Athletic Football Club.
"There was never a dull moment with Ayodele. He was full of life, very humorous, loved practical jokes and good food. He was a very happy young man who always had a smile on his face. He had everything to live for.
“His death has created an irreplaceable vacuum within his immediate and extended families.
“Shame on the coward who perpetrated the heinous crime that terminated Ayodele’s life.”
Anyone with information can contact Harlow’s Major Investigation Team on 01279 621802, email email@example.com or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.