Sara Sharif: A timeline of what’s happened since the 10-year-old was found at her Surrey home


Sara Sharif: A timeline of what's happened since the 10-year-old was found at her Surrey home

The death of 10-year-old Sara Sharif has sparked an international manhunt as police try to trace family members in connection with their investigation.

From the discovery made by officers at a property in a small Surrey village – to police raids in Pakistan, Sky News traces how the case has unfolded.

17 August – Sara’s body found

The body of a 10-year-old girl is found at a home in Woking, Surrey, sparking a murder investigation. She was later named as Sara Sharif.

A post-mortem examination revealed she had suffered “multiple and extensive” injuries.

Her body was found after her father called 999 from Pakistan.

Sara’s father Urfan Sharif, her stepmother Beinash Batool, and his brother Faisal Shahzad Malik left the UK for Pakistan before she was found dead.

19 August – Family members wanted by police

An international manhunt was launched as Surrey Police identified Sara’s father, stepmother and uncle in connection with her death.

On the same day, police Pakistan said they were seeking to arrest Sara’s father Urfan Sharif.

23 August – Sara ‘fell down stairs’, uncle claims

Sara’s uncle told officers the 10-year-old “fell down the stairs and broke her neck“, according to police in Pakistan.

Sara’s stepmother later claimed he did not give a statement saying that, and the line had been “spread through a Pakistani media outlet”.

29 August – inquest hears death ‘likely to be unnatural’

The inquest did not determine a cause of death and was adjourned until 29 February 2024 so police can continue with their investigations.

6 September – stepmother releases video statement

Sara’s stepmother spoke for the first time in a video shared with Sky News and said the family was willing to co-operate with British authorities and “fight our case in court”.

She denied media reports Mr Sharif’s brother Imran said Sara fell down the stairs and claimed the family had “gone into hiding”.

Sara Sharif: A timeline of what's happened since the 10-year-old was found at her Surrey home

6 September – Sara’s mother speaks

Sara’s mother said she is haunted by the sight of her daughter’s body in a mortuary.

Speaking to the Polish television programme Uwaga! she said: “One of her cheeks was swollen and the other side was bruised. No mother should have to see something like that.”

Sara and her older brother had been living with their mother from 2015 until 2019, when the family court ruled they should live with their father.

Ms Sharif still had equal rights to see the children and said while that was easy to maintain initially, it became harder over time.

Sara Sharif: A timeline of what's happened since the 10-year-old was found at her Surrey home

7 September – police raid 20 homes in Pakistan

Police in Pakistan raided at least 20 homes nationwide in the search for Sara’s family. The raids were concentrated in Jhelum and Mirpur.

9 September – family members detained to “draw out” father

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

A spokesperson for Pakistan police said detaining close relatives may force the surrender of Mr Sharif and Ms Batool.

11 September – five children taken from Sara’s grandfather

Five children were recovered from Sara’s grandfather’s home in Pakistan by police searching for his son.

The children, aged between one and 13, are understood to have travelled from the UK to Pakistan with Sara’s father.

A judge ruled they should be taken into care the following day.

Their grandfather Mohammad told Sky News the children had been with him since they arrived in Pakistan over a month ago and he felt it was his “duty to protect them”.

13 September – relatives thought to be returning to UK

Sara’s father, stepmother and uncle are believed to fly back to the UK from Pakistan.

They are understood to have checked into a flight from Sialkot airport and are expected to arrive in the UK on Wednesday evening.


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