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Sara Sharif murder inquiry: Father of girl, 10, sought over her death

  1. By Helena Wilkinson

  2. BBC News

18 August 2023

Updated 8 hours ago

Image caption,

Sara Sharif suffered extensive injuries over an extended period of time, police said

Police have named the father, step mother and uncle of a 10-year-old girl found dead in a house in Woking as the three people they want to talk to in connection with their murder inquiry.

A global search is under way for Urfan Sharif, his partner Beinash Batool, 29, and his brother Faisal Malik, 28.

They left the UK for Pakistan on Wednesday 9 August, the day before Sara Sharif’s body was discovered.

Surrey Police also revealed Mr Sharif, 41, made a 999 call from Pakistan.

It was that call which led officers to the house in Woking where they found Sara’s body with “multiple and extensive injuries”, which were likely to have been caused over a sustained period of time.

The 10-year-old has now been formally identified.

A post-mortem examination carried out on Tuesday concluded the cause of death was “still to be established” and further tests were needed.

Image caption,

Urfan Sharif and his partner Beinash Batool are sought by police

Police previously said they were called to the address in Hammond Road at about 02:50 BST on Thursday 10 August “following a concern for safety”.

There was no-one else in the house when the 10-year-old’s body was discovered.

Urfan Sharif rang the emergency services in the UK shortly after landing in Islamabad with his partner, his brother and five children.

Det Supt Mark Chapman, from Surrey Police and Sussex Police Major Crime Team, said the five children were aged between one and 13.

He added: “We are working with the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), Interpol, the National Crime Agency, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to progress our inquiries with the Pakistan authorities.”

Image caption,

Floral tributes have been laid at the scene where Sara Sharif was found

BBC News has spoken to a travel agent in Woking who said he was contacted by Sara Sharif’s father, Urfan Sharif, at about 22:00 BST on Tuesday 8 August who said he wanted to book tickets to Pakistan as soon as possible.

“After that I ask him what is the reason, why you booking as soon as possible, so he said my cousin has died so that why we going Pakistan,” Nadeem Riaz told BBC News.

The travel agent said Urfan Sharif booked eight one-way tickets for himself, his brother, his wife and five children.

The flights booked were from the UK on Wednesday 9 August, via Bahrain, and arriving in Islamabad at 05:35 local time on Thursday 10 August.

Mr Riaz confirmed the tickets were used.

Surrey County Council leader Tim Oliver said a “rapid review” would be carried out to determine whether a local child safeguarding practice review should be held, which would bring together police, social care and education to review the practice of the agencies involved in the case.