Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Police 'find handwritten note naming killer' of Sara Sharif, 10, in house

A handwritten note naming the killer who allegedly ‘beat Sara Sharif to death’ has reportedly been found inside her home by police.

Her lifeless body was discovered at a house in the village of Horsall, near Woking, Surrey, in the early hours of August 10.

The 10-year-old girl had suffered ‘multiple, extensive injuries’ and she was tragically pronounced dead at the scene in Hammond Road.

Sara’s father Urfan Sharif, 41, who lived at the house with his daughter, had called police from Pakistan to alert them.

He had fled to the south Asian country with his partner Beinash Batool, 29, brother Faisal Malik, 28, and five children the day before Sara was found dead.

An international manhunt was launched for the trio who are believed to have travelled to Islamabad on August 9 and are wanted for questioning.

The search remains ongoing but police in Pakistan say they are ‘close to locating’ them and are trying their ‘level best’ to track them down.

Sara’s exact cause of death has still not been determined, but Surrey Police said her injuries are likely to have been caused over a ‘sustained and extended’ period of time.

It has now also emerged that officers searching the house in the aftermath reportedly found a handwritten note claiming to reveal who killed the young schoolgirl.

The message, which is said to have been written by a relative in big letters on lined paper, claims she was beaten to death by someone known to her family, reports MirrorOnline.

According to MailOnline, the note starts: ‘Whoever sees this, it was [name] who killed [Sara] by beating. I am running away because I am scared.’

Rawalpindi Region police chief Khurram Ali told Mirror Online they have ‘interrogated’ Urfan’s father, brother and uncle and say he’s a ‘prime suspect’.

He said: ‘It’s a matter of great concern for our police as a child was brutally killed and it is painful for all of us.’

Surrey Police also issued a fresh appeal for information on Thursday in an attempt to piece together a picture of Sara’s lifestyle in the months leading up to her death.

They have widened the timescale of their investigation after the post-mortem examination revealed that the multiple and extensive injuries Sara suffered happened over a longer period.

Detective superintendent Mark Chapman said: ‘It is now two weeks since Sara’s body was found and the impact of her tragic death continues to be felt deeply by the local and wider community, including our officers and staff.

‘We would like to thank those people who have already come forward and reported information to us.

‘However, we know that there will be lots of people in the Woking community and beyond who will have had contact with Sara who may not already have come forward, and we would encourage them to do so.

‘Any information is better than no information – although you might think it’s insignificant, it might be vital to the investigation and in helping us to bring justice for Sara.’

Sara’s mother Olga Sharif, who now lives in Somerset, described her daughter as an ‘amazing, beautiful’ child.

The 36-year-old told The Sun: ‘She was invited to every birthday party in the class and every sleepover, she was so outgoing, much more social than me.

‘She was so pretty that I never had to ask her to pose for a picture because every time she looked at the camera she was already smiling and beautiful.’

Olga married Sara’s dad Urfan in 2009 but they divorced in 2017 and Urfan was granted custody of the child.

Aside from occasional phone conversations, Olga said she was only allowed to see her children twice in four years before eventually being cut off altogether in 2021 following an argument with Urfan’s new partner Beinash.

Urfan and Beinash later moved to their home in Hammond Road in April 2023, where Sara’s body would be found just a few short months later.

Locals say the family mostly kept to themselves and were not sociable but a neighbour later told the BBC that her own daughter had seen Sara with ‘clearly visible injuries’ in April.

‘Just before the Easter holidays she was in school and had cuts and bruises on her face and her neck,’ the neighbour, wishing to be referred to as Jessica, said.

‘My daughter had asked what had happened and she said she’d fallen off a bike and then kind of walked away.

‘The next day the teacher announced she had left school and she was being home-schooled.’

Sara was, according to Jessica’s daughter, never seen at school again.

Although there is no formal extradition treaty between the UK and Pakistan, Islamabad authorities say they are under ‘tremendous pressure’ from the British High Commission to find the missing family members and are continuing their extensive search.

Police in Pakistan arrested Sara’s uncle, Imran Sharif, on Wednesday over suspicions he knew where his relatives are hiding and he is being questioned by officers in Jhelum as well as the national Federal Investigation Agency.

A police source said: ‘We spoke to Imran and some of the family members last week and they insisted that they did not know where Urfan and his family are.

‘But we don’t believe them, there’s absolutely no way that they can’t know where eight of their relatives who have come from England are. They are telling us a pack of lies.’

They added: ‘We managed to get hold of Imran, but the rest of his family have gone missing. They clearly have something to hide. We have got hold of one of them and will be interrogating him until he tells us the truth.’

The source added: ‘We have the mobile phone numbers for Sharif and the other people with him who came from the UK. We are doing our utmost to trace them electronically but it’s not proving to be very easy.’

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