A 38-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of the murder of primary school teacher Sabina Nessa.
The Met Police tonight announced they had detained a male suspect almost a week after the body of 28-year-old teacher was discovered under a pile of leaves in the busy Cator Park, Kidbrooke, south east London.
Investigating officers made a second arrest this afternoon, arresting a 38-year-old male at an address in Lewisham, south east London. He was taken to custody where he currently remains.
Police have since released an appeal for another man and a silver vehicle that was seen on CCTV in the area they are hoping to identify which could provide a breakthrough in the case.
The man, pictured with balding, dark hair in grey tracksuit bottoms, a dark-coloured hoodie and black shoes, was seen on CCTV in the Peglar Square area on the evening of Sabina’s attack.
Sabina Nessa, 28 was on her way to the pub when she was killed and her body dumped under a pile of leaves in the busy Cator Park, south-east London, police believe
Police have since released a separate appeal for another man and a vehicle that was seen on CCTV in the area they hope to identify which could provide a breakthrough in the case
The man, pictured with balding, dark hair in grey tracksuit bottoms, a dark-coloured hoodie and black shoes, was seen on CCTV in the Peglar Square area on the evening of Sabina’s attack
Police are urging anyone who might be able to identify the man and his vehicle to make contact with them immediately on 0208 721 4266 or by calling Crimestoppers completely anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil John, from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command, said: ‘Our team have been working tirelessly to find the person responsible for Sabina’s murder and this has included an extensive trawl of CCTV, work which remains ongoing.
‘We would ask anyone – especially those in Kidbrooke and the wider area of Lewisham and Greenwich – to take a careful look at these images to check whether you know who this man is or have seen him over recent days.
‘Any information as to his identity or whereabouts could be vital for our investigation so we are asking you to share this image far and wide to ensure as many people as possible see it.’
Thursday saw the second arrest in the Sabina Nessa murder inquiry – after a man in his 40s had been detained before being released under investigation on Saturday.
Ms Nessa left her home on Astell Road after arranging to meet a friend at The Depot bar in Pegler Square, Kidbrooke Village, south-east London, last Friday night but never made it.
Police believe she was attacked in the busy Cator Park at around 8.30pm with her body being found by a member of the public almost 24 hours later near the OneSpace community centre, hidden under a pile of leaves.
No one reported her missing after she failed to make the rendez-vous, said police, but her housemate has now spoken out on the horrifying ordeal and shared her unease.
She told the Guardian: ‘I never thought something like this could happen to her. I had been texting her and it’s not like her to not reply to my messages.
‘I don’t feel safe living here now.’
Earlier, detectives had speculated whether the attack had been carried out by a stranger and were ‘keeping an open mind’ on the killer’s motive.
Detective Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry insisted the area remains ‘safe for women’ despite mounting pressure from women’s safety campaigners who are urging officers to do more to protect them on Britain’s streets.
He said: ‘The streets are safe for women, I’d like to reassure the public around that, I’d like to make sure that people are free to walk around free from fear and my officers will make sure that that can take place.’
Reclaim These Streets, an organisation campaigning for the safety of women and girls which has organised a vigil for tomorrow, said: ‘This is an epidemic of violence against women. Enough with reports, what is the actual plan to keep us safe and alive?’
Ms Nessa was attacked in the park at around 8.30pm, and her body found on Saturday near the OneSpace community centre hidden under a pile of leaves
Experts have sealed off large parts of the park as their murder investigation continues. Pictured above: forensics tent in Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south east London, where the teacher was found dead
Chief Superintendent Trevor Lawry by the floral tributes at Cator Park in Kidbrooke, south London, near to the scene where the body of Ms Nessa was found
Parallels are being drawn to the horrific murder of 33-year-old marketing executive Sarah Everard in March, amid fresh fury that women could not walk through Britain’s streets alone without fearing for their lives.
And in June 6 last year, sisters Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, were stabbed to death in a Wembley park in a random attack by 19-year-old Danyal Hussein, who believed he was acting on the orders of a demon.
Other women who live in the Kidbrooke area have also revealed they feel anxious when out alone – prompting one resident to offer to walk anyone home who does not feel safe in the community.
Last night, Ms Nessa’s sister took to social media to commemorate her, writing: ‘My beautiful, talented & caring sister. My inspiration to always put myself first & never let anybody put me down.
‘Never in my life did I or my sisters or my mum or dad think this could happen to us. May Allah grant her Jannah. Ameen #SabinaNessa’.
She added in a separate tweet: ‘3 sisters down to 2. Pls make dua for her. No mother or father should have to go through this, may Allah grant my parents ease.’
Ms Nessa’s cousin, Zubel Ahmed, described her as the ‘most caring person, kindest, sweetest girl you could meet.’
He told the BBC: ‘She’s just got a beautiful soul, she’s a caring person, she’s left behind two cats. When we were at her house the other day the cats were looking for her.
‘As strange as that sounds it’s just her nature to care for things, to care for people, for animals, and she’s just going to be truly missed.’