The stepmother of a girl found dead at her home in Surrey has spoken out for the first time as her family hides out in Pakistan.
A murder investigation was launched after Sara Sharif’s body was found in Woking on 10 August. A post-mortem examination found she had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries” over a “sustained and extended” period of time.
Detectives want to speak to Sara’s father, Urfan Sharif, 41, his partner Beinash Batool, 29, and Urfan’s brother, Faisal Malik, 28 in connection with her death.
Sara’s stepmother Ms Batool read out a statement while sat side-by-side with her husband, in a clip released on Wednesday morning.
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“Sara’s death was an incident,” the stepmother said. “Our family in Pakistan are severely affected by what is going on. All the media have been giving the wrong statements and are making up lies.
“Imran did not give a statement that Sara fell down the stairs and broke her neck. I’m very worried about Imran’s safety. All the family are in hiding.
“No-one is leaving the house as the adults are unable to leave their homes out of fear of safety. That is why we have gone into hiding.
“We are willing to cooperate with the UK authorities and fight our case in court.”
The statement comes after Sara’s birth mother Olga Sharif told TVN she couldn’t recognise her daughter when identifying her body in the mortuary.
“One of her cheeks was swollen and the other side was bruised,” she said. “Even now, when I close my eyes I can see what my baby looked like.”
Surrey Police are appealing for information to help them piece together a picture of Sara’s lifestyle prior to her death.
It is believed Urfan Sharif travelled to Islamabad, Pakistan, in company with his partner and his brother on 9 August. There were five children with them aged between a year and 13 years old.
Authorities in Pakistan are searching for the trio and lawyers in the UK have said the nation’s government is unlikely to block an extradition request in connection to Sara’s death. There is no formal extradition treaty between the UK and Pakistan but people have been returned from the Asian country before.