Friday, 12 June 2020

Police issue new appeal on Fryent Country Park double murder as they identify new lines of inquiry

[Victims: Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman]

From the Metropolitan Police (unedited)

A week on from the murder of two sisters in a Wembley park, detectives have identified significant new lines of enquiry and are urgently appealing to the public to help find their attacker.
Officers are now confident Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry were killed by someone who was a stranger to them.

Officers will be in Fryent Country Park NW9 and the surrounding area throughout Friday, 12 June handing out leaflets and engaging with members of the public in the hope of gathering information that could assist them with their investigation.

The bodies of Nicole and Bibaa were discovered at the park on Sunday, 7 June. Two days earlier, the sisters had been at the location celebrating Bibaa’s 46th birthday with a group of friends and family.
Following a number of extensive enquiries, detectives are asking the public to help them with information about two key points.

Detective Chief Inspector Simon Harding, Specialist Crime, said:
“This is an unthinkably harrowing and tragic incident and my first thoughts remain with Nicole and Bibaa’s close family and friends who are going through the most unimaginable pain and suffering.

“There have been a number of factors involved in both the incident and the aftermath which have required extra time and care in enabling us to create a clear picture of what has taken place. But what we can now say with some certainty is that Nicole and Bibaa were murdered by someone who was unknown to them.

“Enquiries continue at pace, and an ongoing extensive search of what is a significant crime scene – including a pond - continues to yield evidence. My officers are also currently trawling through hundreds of thousands of tonnes of rubbish from a local refuse depot in search of items of relevance to the investigation, which we believe were accidentally cleared from the scene when mistaken for rubbish.”

“Whilst we tirelessly work to identify the individual responsible I am asking the public for their help with two points:

“We believe the suspect received injuries during the incident which have caused significant bleeding. Do you know anyone who has been wounded in the last week who is unable to account for their injuries? Has someone returned home and perhaps acted suspiciously or tried to hide something from you?

“We also believe the suspect left the park via the Valley Drive entrance. Did you see anyone acting suspiciously in that vicinity during the evening of Friday into early hours of Saturday? You may have noticed someone who was injured.

“If you have information on either of these specific appeal points - no matter how insignificant it may seem - please contact us. At this stage we don’t know why this awful attack took place and any information we can gather will help us further put the pieces of the jigsaw together.”
Police were called to Fryent Country Park off Slough Lane at 13:08hrs on Sunday, 7 June to a report of two women found unresponsive.

Officers and the London Ambulance Service attended and they were pronounced dead at the scene.
They were sisters, Nicole Smallman, 27, and Bibaa Henry, 46, who lived in Harrow and Brent respectively.

Their family are being supported by specially trained officers.

A post-mortem examination conducted on Tuesday, 9 June gave the cause of death for both women as stab wounds.

Nicole and Bibaa were in a group of people who congregated in the park from around 19:40hrs on Friday, 5 June to celebrate Bibaa’s birthday.

Gradually people are believed to have left throughout the evening; by around 00.30hrs only Nicole and Bibaa remained. Officers believe they were murdered within the next couple of hours.

Both Nicole and Bibaa were reported as missing to police late on Saturday, 6 June when they did not return home; before they were discovered on Sunday.

Detectives from the Specialist Crime Command (Homicide) are investigating, with the assistance of officers from the North West Command Unit.

An extensive crime scene still remains in the park.

DCI Harding also appealed for anyone else in the area at the time to come forward. He said:
 “A number of people have come forward with information which has really assisted us with our enquiries, but I still need to hear from anyone who was in the park on the evening of Friday, 5 June, or early into Saturday, 6 June who has not yet spoken with police. The area the group were in is around a five minute walk from the Valley Drive entrance of the park, leading to a hill area.

“This is a well-known spot to sit and look over London. If you were in that area of the park from the evening of 5 June through to Sunday lunchtime, noticed the group, or saw anything or anyone suspicious, please contact us immediately.

“I also want to hear from people who regularly use the park, you may have seen a person acting suspiciously in the days leading up to the attack, you may not think your information is relevant, but it may be vital, so call and tell us what you know.

“You may also have stumbled upon items of property, but not realised the significance of them. If you did, you may well have information that could assist us hugely. No matter how insignificant it may seem, please contact us.” 

North West Borough Commander Roy Smith, said:

“My thoughts are with the family who have lost two loved ones in the most tragic of circumstances.

“I know the experienced investigation team are working around the clock to identify whoever is responsible as swiftly as possible and ensure they are brought to justice. We will leave no stone unturned. Extra resources have been brought in to help from across the Met including additional detectives.

“I understand how alarmed and concerned residents will be about this incident given the circumstances.

“I want to reassure them that officers have been carrying out extra patrols in the area since last Friday and local residents can expect to see this continue over coming days, but of course it’s timely to remind people to be vigilant, particularly after dark in parks and opens areas and report anything suspicious to us immediately.”

+ On Wednesday, 10 June a 36-year-old man was arrested in south London on suspicion of murder.

He was taken into custody but subsequently released no further action with regards the murder.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call the incident room on 020 8721 4205, via 101 or tweet @MetCC quoting CAD 3160/7Jun.

Alternatively, you can provide information 100 per cent anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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