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Police detain family members of 10-year-old found dead in Surrey to try and draw out father

Police in Pakistan have detained ten close relatives of Sara Sharif to try and draw her father out of hiding.

Sara, 10, was found dead at her home in Woking, Surrey, last month, prompting UK police to launch a murder investigation.

The day before her body was discovered, her father, stepmother and uncle travelled to Pakistan with five children.

Sara’s grandfather, who has urged his son to turn himself in and previously complained of police “harassment”, is among those who have been detained.


A spokesperson for Pakistan police said detaining close relatives may force the surrender of Urfan Sharif, 41, and his wife Beinash Batool, 29.

On Wednesday, Mr Sharif and Mr Batool appeared in a video shared with Sky News, in which they said they are willing to co-operate with British authorities.

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Sharif family ‘willing to co-operate’

Ms Batool denied media reports that Mr Sharif’s brother Imran said Sara fell down the stairs and said the family has “gone into hiding”.

“Firstly, I would like to talk about Sara. Sara’s death was an incident. Our family in Pakistan are severely affected by all that is going on,” Ms Batool said.

She spoke about the worry she has for the family’s safety and claimed they have been misrepresented in the press.

“All the media have been giving wrong statements and making up lies,” she said.

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Sara Sharif’s grandfather makes plea to son

A post-mortem examination last month revealed Sara had “suffered multiple and extensive injuries” that were “likely to have been caused over a sustained and extended period of time”.

Her cause of death has yet to be determined – but an inquest has heard it is “likely to be unnatural”.

Sara had been living with her mother Olga from 2015 until 2019, when the family court ruled she should live with her father.

Olga Sharif, who separated from Mr Sharif in 2015, said she was haunted by the sight of her daughter’s body in a mortuary.

“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,” she said.

“They dressed her in Mickey Mouse pyjamas and she had a quilt over her.

“No mother should have to see something like that.”

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‘Sara’s cheeks were swollen and bruised’

Surrey Police said it was working with Interpol, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the National Crime Agency on its investigation.

It added: “We remain absolutely committed to conducting a thorough investigation into Sara’s death. Any co-operation from the people we want to speak to will assist the enquiry.”


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