The brother of a man wanted over the death of his 10-year-old daughter told officers Sara Sharif “fell down the stairs and broke her neck”, according to police in Pakistan.
Sara’s uncle, Imran Sharif, is currently held in police custody for questioning, Jhelum police have exclusively told Sky News.
He has not been charged and is not under arrest, they said.
And Mr Sharif claims he hasn’t seen his brother Urfan.
Sara Sharif was found dead at her home in Woking, Surrey, after police were called from Pakistan by her father on 10 August.
Urfan Sharif, 41, his partner Beinash Batool, 29, and his 28-year-old brother Faisal Malik are thought to have travelled from the UK to Islamabad the day before – and are wanted for questioning.
Sara’s exact cause of death remains unknown.
However, Surrey Police said a post-mortem examination revealed Sara “suffered multiple and extensive injuries”, which they said were “likely to have been caused over a sustained and extended period of time”.
Surrey County Council have also said Sara was previously known to authorities.
Pakistani police are seeking to arrest Urfan Sharif, who travelled to the country with the two adults as well as five children ranging from one to 13 years old.
It is believed Urfan briefly returned to his family home in Jhelum, Punjab – about 84 miles (134km) away from the capital.
Imran Sharif denied knowing where Urfan and his family were, Jhelum police said.
He told police: “I found out what happened to Sara through the international media.
“My parents told me Urfan briefly came home very upset. He kept saying ‘they’ are going to take his children away from him.”
“They”, an officer said, referred to British authorities.
According to Jhelum police, Imran Sharif claims the family line is that Sara fell at home.
He is alleged to have told officers: “Beinash was home with the children. Sara fell down the stairs and broke her neck. Beinash panicked and phoned Urfan.”
Beinash Batool’s family home in Mirpur was searched, but the family of eight was nowhere to be seen, Jhelum police told Sky News.
They added that Urfan’s parents are distressed, and that his father’s “heart condition” is worsening from “stress”.
Surrey Police are continuing to appeal for information about Sara’s death and they would like to speak to anyone who knew the girl or her family.
A statement from the force said: “No piece of information is insignificant, so if you can help, please contact us.
“If you would like to stay anonymous, you can report information to Crimestoppers.”