London: Pakistani police are searching for a man in connection with the death of his 10-year-old daughter in Surrey, officers in the eastern Punjab province have said.
Sara Sharif was found dead at her home near Woking on 10 August. Surrey police identified her father, Urfan, as well as his partner Beinash Batool and his brother Faisal Malik, as people with whom they wanted to speak as part of their investigation.
An international manhunt was launched after officers said the three suspects had fled the country on 9 August.
An autopsy has not established a cause of death, but it did show Sara had suffered “multiple and extensive injuries, which are likely to have been caused over a sustained and extended period of time”, Surrey police said.
Urfan Sharif travelled to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, with Batool and Malik. There are five children with them, ranging from one to 13 years old, officers added.
Sharif’s family home is in Jhelum, Punjab, about 135 km from the capital.
According to reports, officer Imran Ahmed said police in Pakistan found evidence that Sharif briefly returned to Jhelum, before leaving and going into hiding. Another officer in Jhelum, Nisar Ahmed, said he and his men went to Sharif’s native village of Kari but learned the family left about 20 years ago and never returned.
Surrey police said Sara’s mother had been informed and was being supported by their officers. The force said it was also working with international agencies, including Interpol, the National Crime Agency and the UK Foreign Office to progress their inquiries with Pakistani authorities.
Speaking on Friday, Det Supt Mark Chapman, from the local major crime team, said he wanted to express his “heartfelt condolences”, adding: “Our thoughts are with her mother at this difficult time.”
He said: “While the postmortem has not provided us with an established cause of death at this time, the fact that we now know that Sara had suffered multiple and extensive injuries over a sustained and extended period has significantly changed the nature of our investigation, and we have widened the timescale of the focus of our inquiry.
“As a result, we are trying to piece together a picture of Sara’s lifestyle but we cannot do this without the public’s help.
“That is why we are appealing for anyone who knew Sara, had any form of contact with her, or has any other information about her, no matter how insignificant it might seem, to come forward as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, I would like to reassure you that we are doing everything possible, including working with our partners and international agencies, to ensure that those responsible for Sara’s tragic and untimely death are brought to justice.”