The runaway father and stepmother of a 10-year-old girl found dead at home in Surrey last month, are flying back to the UK from Pakistan.
Detectives want to question father Urfan Sharif, 41, stepmother Beinash Batool, 29, and Mr Sharif’s brother, Faisal Malik, 28, who all travelled to Islamabad, the day before Sara Sharif’s body was found in Woking.
Sara was found dead by officers called to the family home by her father from overseas, and a murder investigation was then launched. A post-mortem examination found she had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries” over a “sustained and extended” period of time.
Khan Mudassir, of the Sialkot police in Pakistan, said three people had been arrested and flown to the UK, the Associated Press reported. He said the three were handed over to Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency, which flew them to Britain from Sialkot in Punjab.
Urfan Sharif is believed to have travelled to Pakistan with his partner and his brother on 9 August. There were five children with them, aged between one year and 13.
It’s believed that on Wednesday, more than a month later, they all boarded a flight from Pakistan, travelling via Dubai, and were due to land at Gatwick airport around 7.45pm, after surrendering to police.
Surrey Police said on Tuesday that they were working to secure the safe return of Sara’s five siblings from Pakistan after a court ruled the children would be temporarily moved to a government childcare facility.
The force said it had been working with Surrey County Council and international authorities after the Pakistani court made the ruling.
It is unclear where the children will ultimately be sent or for how long they may be kept in the facility.
The children were taken from the home of Sara’s grandfather in a police raid at his property in Jhelum, Pakistan, on Monday, before later being returned.
Muhammad Sharif says his grandaughter’s death was an accident and that the trio fled the UK out of fear. Last week, stepmother Ms Batool said she and Mr Sharif were willing to cooperate with UK authorities over the case.
Sara’s birth mother has spoken of the grief she felt when she went to identify her daughter’s body in the mortuary. Olga Sharif said: “One of her cheeks was swollen and the other side was bruised.
“Even now, when I close my eyes I can see what my baby looked like.”
Ms Sharif separated from her husband in 2015 and Sara and her older brother had been living with her until 2019, when the family court ruled they should live with their father. She still had equal rights to see the children but said, while that was easy to maintain initially, it became increasingly hard over time.